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The WBHS Robotics Team starts up their OCCRA competition season


Hunter Griffin

Robotics Team at Competetions

On Thursday, October 24th, 2013, the West Bloomfield High School’s (WBHS) Robotics team started off their Oakland County Competitive Robotic Association (OCCRA) season. During their Team members and their robot competition on October 24th, the team won one, tied one and lost two of their four battles. Captain, Alexis Canella, a senior, states, “it was a big step for us.” The design of their robot is based off a dump truck, where it hangs and scores by dropping balls into a grid. OCCRA is the robotic competition for all Oakland County schools. It lasts from September to December. The next competition is FIRSTS, which is a national and world wide competition, where WBHS will compete against all the schools from Michigan. Senior and first year team member, Chris Chiaravalli, build team, states, “at first we were a little be behind, but now we’ve got a working robot and it seems to do pretty well.”



Odin the Robot
Odin the Robot

For OCCRA there is a large diversity in the competitions. There are male, female, and adult driver times. Sophomore, Alexis Ball, Co Captain, says, “It helped widen my creativity and was a good experience to create different things.” WBHS’ Robotics Team was one of the first teams to join OCCRA, while for FIRSTS, they just joined last year. Junior, Brendan Gimby, a programmer, adds, “We are doing pretty well considering the little funds we have, and we work well together.


During club time

During this season’s competition for OCCRA, the team made a robot that can lift itself up on a bar through a motor system that attaches to the base and drops balls or stops other teams from dropping balls into a grid through a race, naming it Odin the Robot. Each competition (race), lasts about two minutes to get as many points as possible. The WBHS team meets every school day from after school until 4:00 pm. This is where they build, design, and practice.  During their meetings they split up into separate groups, because everyone on the team has a different job or role that helps to contribute. Senior, Ryan Bloom,  Co Build Captain, states, “It is a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work.”


The Robotics coaches are Mr. Francis Muylaert and Mrs. Loebl. Muylaert states that it is “a pretty confident team, they’re doing well and they did a great job on their bot.”

The WBHS Robotics Team had another OCCRA competition recently, on Saturday, November 2nd, and have many more coming up throughout November.  This competition scores consisted  of two wins for the girls, 16 to 5 and another 11-0. The team was  extremely pumped, positive and had a blast doing the things they love. There was a total of 25 schools at this competition and for every race there are four schools that compete at a time. Usually there are 4 matches; on Saturday, November second, they had two female, one co-ed, one adult and  two male competitions. At the end of the competitions there are awards, such as most beautiful bot, most spirited and more. “It was a really fun way of spending my Saturday instead of staying home and doing my homework,” states Alexis Ball. Great job WBHS Robotics, continue to work prosperously.