Carmel High School junior Priya Una is eager for the TechHOUNDS to make one giant leap for its robotics program.
Una is the team lead for the five divisions for the robotics team, which won the state title for the second consecutive year April 13 in Kokomo, qualifying for the World Championships April 24 to 27 in Detroit.
“We were fifth in the Worlds last year and now we want to top that,” Una said. “Since this year’s performance is very similar to that of last year and we have a lot of the same members, we all know what it takes to get to the next level.”
The game, which is played throughout the season, is sponsored by Boeing in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Una said.
“We’re trying to top last year,” Una said. “My first year a lot of seniors had graduated and we struggled. We learned from it and are coming up stronger than ever. As a freshman, winning an Outreach Award in the state allowed us to qualify for Worlds, but we didn’t do very well.”
The TechHOUNDS, which won the state crown with a 6-0 playoff event, were ranked second in the state prior to the Indiana Division State Championship. The robotics competition is part of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology).
At the district event at Center Grove High School March 28 to 30, the TechHounds were victorious as well.
There are five people on a drive team controlling the robot during the game. There are 15 people that serve on a pit crew.
“The rest of the team cheers them on. It’s kind of like a sporting event,” Una said. “It’s super fun.”
The robot scores points by picking up objects and climbing up different sized platforms.
“You have to strategize and work with other teams so you can make your ranking,” Una said. “There is a lot of strategy of what your robot can accomplish with what other robots can accomplish. After eliminations, the top eight teams get to form their own alliance.”