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Robotics Team Prepares For 2020 Competition Season

The La Salle Robotics Team 5181 has started their 2020 season in these past few weeks - beginning their 6 week build and planning phase.  Our robotics team was started 6 years ago by Mr. McDowell, a physics teacher who saw the program as a great way to get students interested and involved in STEAM fields while also participating in a fun, competitive team event. 

Recently, La Salle’s Team 5181 has seen considerable success, advancing to the regional tournament at Lehigh University and missing qualification for the World competition by only a few points last year.  La Salle’s robotics program competes in the FRC (First Robotics Competition) league, which recently revealed the “game”, or tasks, this years robot will have to complete.

The main scoring mechanic in this year’s competition is to launch a dodgeball in one of two goals set up at different vertical heights.  A ball in the lower goal will score 1 point, while the higher goal will score 2 points.  Teams will score 9 total balls in their goal to unlock stage 2.  Then, teams must score 20 more balls to get to stage 3. 

Furthermore, in order to achieve the next stage, teams will have to spin a colored wheel a specific number of rotations to unlock the next stage (worth 20 points).  Finally, once stage 3 is unlocked, 20 more balls must be score and the colored wheel must be spun to a specific color (worth 25 points) for a team to get one match point, which is a very important part in qualifying teams for the regional and world tournaments.  

In the final 30 seconds of the match, teams will also have the opportunity to hang from a bar and balance three robots to within a certain degree range.  Each robot on the bar will award the alliance 25 points, and if all three are able to be suspended freely, the alliance will get another match point.  The team with the most points at the end of a round wins the round, giving them a third possible match point.  And to top it all off, teams only have 2 minutes and 30 seconds to do all of that!

While Team 5181 might have their work cut out for them this year, they’re already working hard to come out on top.  We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this year!

The squad will compete at the Hatboro-Horsham District Event February 28-March 1 -

Learn more about the team at

Learn more about FIRST Robotics:

By Connor Mangan '21- Robotics Team Media Coordinator 


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