Robotics Teams Sweep Top Places at RoboCupJunior

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
L-R: Morgan Fisher ’23, Peter Rice ’23, Luke Golumbic ’23, Charlton Schaner ’22,
Pablo Garza Gutierrez ’22, Zeke Wadlington ’23

Students in Mercersburg’s robotics program took the top two places in the Rescue Line competition at RoboCupJunior USA 2022, which was held May 22 at Princeton High School in Princeton, NJ. 

The first-place finish qualifies Mercersburg for RoboCupJunior International, which takes place July 13–17 in Bangkok, Thailand. When students arrive in Bangkok, it will mark the 11th time for a Mercersburg team to compete at RoboCupJunior International (dating back to 2007).

The four students who comprise Rescue Team MA—Luke Golumbic ’23, Pablo Garza Gutierrez ’22, Charlton Schaner ’22, and Zeke Wadlington ’23—took first in Rescue Line, while Team Ruk (the duo of Peter Rice ’23 and Morgan Fisher ’23) placed second.

In the OnStage event, the team of Nathalie Maurer ’23 and Ava Anthony ’23 (a.k.a. Team Bot Ross) received the Excellence in Engineering Award in that category for their documentation of the design, building, programming, and engineering process.

"I am so proud of our students and their hard work," said Mercersburg robotics faculty member Andy Brown. "The impact of COVID-19 affected some of our legacy momentum and the success we had going to these competitions in the past, but the kids worked through the unknowns and prevailed. I am excited to see them compete on the international stage."

The Rescue Line competition challenges teams to construct a robot that navigates the mission environment by following a 1-2 cm wide black line that winds through multiple rooms in the environment. At the end of its rescue run, the robot must “rescue” a victim by moving the victim to an area called the “Evacuation Zone.”

The OnStage competition integrates science, technology, engineering, and the arts. Teams of two to five students present a 1-2 minute creative stage performance using autonomous robots that they have designed, built, and programmed. The OnStage challenge is intended to be open-ended; the performers can present any type of performing art they choose, including dance, storytelling, theatre, or performance art.

A total of 25 Mercersburg students traveled to Princeton for the competition with robotics faculty members Brown and William Linch and Associate Head of School for School Life Julia Stojak Maurer ’90, P ’18, ’20, ’22, ’23.