Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hawaii High School Robotics Competition Kicks Off


Published:



More than meets the eye: Some of the best robots don’t look like much from the outside. They’re built to hide the mechanics of how they function, giving the robot an offensive advantage.

Photo: Courtesy Friends of Hawaii Robotics


Jan. 4 is Christmas morning for science geeks. Come 5:30 a.m. that Saturday, the McKinley High auditorium will be packed with more than 400 kids. Some of them will fly over from the Neighbor Islands; some opt to “camp” in the school overnight rather than face an alarm clock. The dress code? Team T-shirts, often paired with pajama bottoms. This will be Kalani senior ZJ Lin’s last year attending the Robotics Competition Kickoff. “You know you should be tired, but you’re too excited,” he says.

The students will assemble early, along with their coaches and volunteer mentors, to see this year’s game explained—NASA TV will provide a globally synchronized broadcast to prevent even a few hours’ worth of unfair advantage. From the morning of the kickoff, Hawaii’s 29 robotics teams will have six weeks to build a machine capable of playing the game at hand, usually a spin on a popular sport, like basketball or Frisbee. A typical week for a student engineer includes more than 20 hours in the shop, mostly after school and on weekends. Hawaii teams will reconvene in March at UH’s Stan Sheriff Center to test their robots’ mettle. They’ll be joined by schools from Asia and Australia.

The next stop for winning teams is the championship in St. Louis, an event that’s part sports game, part rock concert, part science camp. Last year, five teams from Hawaii won their way to the Mainland contest, with Waialua (team name: The Hawaiian Kids) advancing to the semifinals.

If you consider a plastic crate full of spare parts a present, which these highschoolers do, think about volunteering. “The league is always in need of more mentors,” says Lenny Klompus, CEO of Friends of HawaiiRobotics, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting robotics programs throughout the state.

Visit friendsofhawaiirobotics.org for ways to get involved this season.

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Subscribe to Honolulu

Honolulu Magazine April 2018
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Trending

 

Colin Nishida, Beloved Chef and Restaurateur, Leaves a Culinary Legacy

Colin Nishida

An entire community remembers the owner of Side Street Inn.

 

Closing of Popular Lanikai Pillbox Hike Delayed Until Further Notice

Lanikai Pillbox Hike

The state asks for public input as it works to repair the old concrete observation stations on the trail, commonly known as “pillboxes.”

 

First Look: Panda Dimsum in Kalihi

Panda Dim Sum

Frogs, hedgehogs and bees, oh my! This spot dishes up cute, Instagrammable dumplings.

 

Kaimukī Gets da Shop, a New Kind of Bookstore and Event Space

Da Shop

It takes guts to open a brick-and-mortar bookstore in the days of instant online gratification, but in da Shop, local publisher Bess Press has found a way to allow fickle/loyal readers to have their cake and eat it, too.

 


20 Great O‘ahu Hikes

Explore 20 great adventures that offer beautiful vistas, waterfalls and more.

 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags