STUDENTS from Glanmire Community College (GCC) performed extremely well at the world’s biggest robotics competition in Texas this month, finishing higher than any Irish team had ever done at that level.
In early May, the six students, who are members of the GCC Robotics Club, flew with their teachers Ken Steel and Eoin Browne to Dallas, where they competed in the VRC VEX Robotics World Championships 2022.
For the roboteers, their first day in Dallas was spent getting their bearings and checking out the competition venue, Dallas’ massive 190,000 square metre Convention Centre.
The high school event, in which GCC Robotics Club was competing, began on May 5 with a parade of nations featuring 36 countries, and the GCC captain, Toby Tangney, carried the flag for Ireland.
The competition ran for three days with around 1,000 teams spread over 10 divisions, battling on the Tipping Point game field.
Success for those competing depended on good design, robust engineering, superior programming skill, planning, strategy, teamwork and driving skill, and a spokesperson for GCC said the team delivered on all of those fronts, “unfortunately not all at the same time”.
“A combination of inexperience at times, together with some really, really bad luck in three of their matches saw the team finish just outside the knockout positions in their division, but still, higher than any Irish team ever, at this level,” the GCC spokesperson said.
The final was won by an alliance of high schools from Kentucky and California.
The Glanmire students’ visit to Dallas was all about robotics, but their downtime was spent savouring the Texas experience.
The club praised their fellow members who did not travel, but whose contributions were not forgotten. The team members thanked Ronan McCarthy and Ciara Coughlan for all their work and support, and all of their sponsors: Glanmire Credit Union, Jones Engineering, Stryker Model Farm Rd and Cognex Ireland. The GCC Robotics Club 2023 campaign begins now.