CyberKnights place 4th at FIRST robotics world championship

Team 558 gets a lift from Team 195 during a Curie Division qualification match. (Submitted)

The Southington High School FIRST Team 195 CyberKnights, the competitive robotics team led by young engineers in the making, returned home from the FIRST Robotics Global Championship in Detroit, Michigan last weekend with a fourth place trophy after facing off 3,600 teams representing seven different countries around the world.

The teams were divided into six divisions of 68 teams. After qualification matches determined who the top eight ranked teams would be, those eight teams formed alliances with two other teams to compete in the division playoff rounds together.

Division playoffs are the best-of-the-best battling it out to be crowned the Division Champion. Then, champions from each of the six divisions face off on the “Einstein Field” where a final champion is crowned.

“Day one of qualification rounds saw 195 facing some fierce competition and challenges,” FIRST Team 195 mentor Sandra Brino said in a press release. The Knights survived the first day, barely clinging to a spot in the top 20. “Knowing there was still another day of qualification rounds to go, they spent hours that night combing through match video to help uncover their mechanical issues and devise new game strategies.”

The team finished day two with a perfect 4.0 ranking point average, pulling the CyberKnights all the way up to the No. 2 spot in the division rankings.

“They didn’t give up, and their perseverance paid off,” Brino said in the release.

The team allied with Team 3707—the Brighton TechnoDogs from Brighton, Mich., and Team 333—the Megladons from Brooklyn, N.Y. for the playoff rounds. Team 70—MoreMartians from Goodrich, Mich. was selected as a fourth backup robot.

Brino said that the team was happy to see so many parents and school officials making the trip to Detroit to support the team through the playoffs.

“They watched as the CyberKnights battled through some hard-fought playoffs to ultimately be crowned Curie Division Champions,” Brino said in the release. “Another blue banner, trophy and medals are coming home to SHS.”

This competition concluded the CyberKnights’ regular season. The team will compete in a few small postseason events to let their robot, the Dark Knight, “play” before retiring for the season.

“We are so proud of our Southington CyberKnights starting the season being one of 3,600 teams in the world, and coming home as the Curie Division Champions and the number four team,” said Brino in the release. “It has been an amazing season as Team 195 brought four blue banners back to SHS from every level they have competed.”

To learn more about the CyberKnights, Team 195, visit them on Facebook or at www.team195.com.

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