Robotics team will compete for world championship


Robotics team will compete for world championship

SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE
By Peter Jasinski
Students in the robotics club at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster demonstrate how their robot works at the club in February.

Students in the robotics club at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster demonstrate how their robot works at the club in February.

 

LEOMINSTER — The Terror Bots will continue their march toward global robotic domination next week as they travel to Detroit for the FIRST Robotics world championship competition.

The 10-member team based out of the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster will be facing off against more than 400 other groups of high school and middle school students from around the U.S., Canada, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Japan.

This is the second year in a row the local students have made it to the international competition and its members are confident that they’ll do even better this year.

“This team is super. We started this eight years ago and we didn’t have a clue,” said Jerry Westwood, one of the team’s volunteer instructors. “Last year we really had a great year and we built on that this year. I’m really proud of the team.”

Seven of the team’s 10 members will be leaving for the competition on Tuesday, but the club is still raising
funds for their travel and lodging expenses. So far $10,000 has been donated by the U.S. Department of Defense
and the medical devices manufacturer Boston Scientific. Donations are still being accepted at the club in the
days leading up to the team’s departure.

Team member JC Oquenda said he was feeling confident and excited to be returning to the competition.
“It was a really cool experience last time because it was my first year on the team and to see the team go that far
was really cool,” he said.

Leominster High School senior Brett Houck is also confident that the Terror Bots will do well in Detroit.
“I’m hoping we do pretty well,” he said. “I’m excited to be going back because this is my last year as a team
member. I didn’t think we’d make it this far, but we did.”