Robotics Team Takes Fourth Place at State Championship


The Hotchkiss EFX Gearcats—the school’s robotics team—made the semi-finals at the state championships last Saturday, February 26, 2022.

11 students went to the state championships, which featured 27 teams, at Sage Park Middle School in Windsor, Connecticut. During the semi-finals, the top four teams from qualifiers each selected two other teams to form alliances with. The Gearcats won their first game against another alliance, but lost the next two, placing fourth overall.

The robotics team consisted of 20 students, enrolled in either the fall or winter robotics cocurricular. In the fall, nine students brainstormed and prototyped the robot, and in the winter, 11 students built and finalized the robot in preparation for competitions.

Due to the pandemic, several other competitions were canceled, and the team only competed once before state championships at the Ethel Walker Qualifiers, where the Gearcats placed second overall out of 25 teams.

Although this was the robotics team’s first year competing, they performed well beyond expectations. Leo Wang ’24, captain of the robotics team, said, “We accomplished a lot as a rookie team. Our robot was well-rounded and was able to do everything on the field. [Its] flexibility and reliability enabled our team to do well.” Additionally, communication and teamwork impacted the overall performance as a team. “We realized the importance of communication within our team under the stress of a competition,” said Boffi Lin ’24, a member of the robotics team.

The competitions gave Gearcats the opportunities to meet other robotic teams from different schools. Marcus Lam ’23, a member of the robotics team, said, “The highlight was definitely meeting the other teams because it’s extremely difficult to get to know people during the pandemic, and this competition allowed me to meet some of the best people in robotics.” Maddie Lykouretzos ’23 said, “I think the most exciting thing was that I was finally on the field for the first time in a real competition.” 

As for the future plans of the team, Ben Ely ’24 said, “Mainly what we’re doing now is planning for team sustainability and helping to educate new members. We want to get new people involved in the community so we can build new robots.”

As the competitive robotics season comes to an end, the Gearcats look forward to expanding their success in the coming years.