WVR competes at FIRST Robotics Competition Los Angeles Regionals

Ryan Lam, Staff writer

Walnut Valley Robotics (WVR) members competed in FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Los Angeles Regionals from Thursday, March 16 to Sunday, March 19 at Da Vinci Schools. 

FRC involved students in various types of engineering, including schematic designs, computer-aided design (CAD), refinements, mechanical and electrical engineering and programming. Walnut ranked third among 44 teams. 

“As a first year in the L.A. Regionals, I feel that the lack of experience and apprehension got to me since my performance in the electrical and mechanical field was not exactly my best work,” member freshman Veronica Yong said. “I worked with my WVR teammates a lot during this [competition] and it was personally a valuable experience, but I still believe I could have done more for the team.” 

Following this year’s club fair, WVR has expanded to over 25 members, allowing the team to compete on an equal level with other robotics organizations. Schools internationally flew in to participate in FRC, making it one of the largest engineering competitions. 

“I was very proud of everyone’s individual performances this season, given the massive influx of new members that allowed us to rank highly for the overall tournament,” WVR captain senior Eric Wang said. “I am a graduating senior this year, so one of my personal goals was to transfer as much knowledge as possible to the younger members to ensure they would be fine for the following years without me.” 

Leading up to the playoffs, students designed a 30inch by 30inch robot weighing around 100 pounds. Students used a swerve drive, which had four wheels that could fully rotate and spin without changing directions, establishing an autonomous robot. This served as the core of WVR’s defensive matches. 

“While our robotics team faced hardships, ranging from code not functioning properly to our robot breaking apart mechanically, WVR did uncharacteristically well at L.A. Regionals,” mechanical lead and head driver sophomore Dylan Thai said. “All of our designs were performed under high pressure and a time crunch, so I am glad that our hard work was able to pay off.”