Reston Robotics Team Wins Regionals, Heads To Nationals In Texas

RESTON, VA — Students from Reston’s Ideaventions Academy for Mathematics and Science are traveling to Arlington, Texas on Thursday to compete in the Bell Advanced Vertical Robotics national championships. This is the second year in a row that the school’s robotics team has made it to the nationals.

“Last year, our team finished second in the nation for overall design and lost first place for Overall by one point out 400, but that was their first time competing,” Elizabeth Roberts Crowder, Ideaventions’ director of admissions and college counseling, told Patch on Tuesday.

Team Daedalus, which is made up of ninth through 12th grade students at the academy, earned a spot in this year’s nationals competition by placing first Overall at the regionals, which took place Nov. 10-11, in Arlington, Texas. They also won in the “Best Overall Design” and “Best Presentation and Communication” for the unique engineering solution to the challenged posed by this year’s robotics competition.

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Every year, high school robotics teams from across the country try to solve the same challenge. Competing against other teams in their area, the students work to perfect their robots and hopefully qualify for the regional and national competions.

“As a team we had a unique opportunity to employ a lot of professional engineering skills and techniques,” said Arya Lohia, a senior at Ideaventions Academy and Daedalus’ team lead. “Our team members have a lot of experience with operating systems, 3D printing, and laser cutting, which helped raise our team to the next level.”

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For this year’s challenge, teams had to simulate a helicopter dropping water onto a building fire. They did this by building two large drones with thermal and visual sensing and a system to drop the water, which was depicted by 25mm plastic balls. While the two drones autonomously navigated through the course, three small manually controlled drones completed additional tasks.

“Even if we walked away without a win, we would still be successful in how we worked together,” said Arlan Stehney, one of Daedalus’s coaches.

Unanet served as a Diamond-level sponsor for Team Daedalus. DEV Technology, Arjun Malavia, and Reliance Electronics Inc. served as Gold-level sponsors and FPT Software, Manu & Prabha Malavia, 3G Federal Solutions LLC, and The Transport Group acting as Silver-level sponsors.

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