LHS Robotics Team Make Semifinals in Regional Competition
April 3, 2023 - Livermore, CA- Livermore High School’s GravitechX Robotics Team enjoyed their greatest success to date, making the semifinal round of the Sacramento Regional First Robotics Competition (FRC) on March 23 - 26, 2023. “After losing all of our experienced team members during the 2021 season, we had to rebuild our team from scratch. The fact that we competed at our highest level to date is everything I could have wanted for our team,” expressed Annika Armstrong, Team Lead of GravitechX. Livermore’s robotics team is a year round, student-led, afterschool club of approximately 40 students.
Competing teams receive an entirely new challenge each year, with no ability to prepare in advance for what comes their way. This year’s challenge involved robots placing cones and cubes in strategic locations to earn points. Student-controlled robots from different teams competed against each other with the goal of obtaining the most points. All teams were given a common drive train base to which they designed their own robot arms, intakes and other manipulators to most effectively grab and move game pieces.
Being a part of the team requires a great commitment on the part of students. To prepare for competitions, each fall, veteran students teach new students computer-aided design (CAD) and machining and electrical programming by meeting four to five hours per week after school. Once the game challenge is revealed by FRC in early January, students meet daily for up to 15 hours per week. “Making it to the semifinals is a testament to the power, dedication, and teamwork that GravitechX embodies. We look forward to building upon our success and pushing ourselves to even greater heights next season,” proclaimed Shrish Premkrishna, Team Lead. 2022-23 team leaders included:
Annika Armstrong and Shrish Premkrishna, Team Leads
Justin Blanton and Thaarak Sriram, Programming Leads
Josh Armstrong and Rohan Samtani, Business Leads
Cody Jackson, Electrical Lead
Ronan Tolla, Mechanical Lead
“One of the greatest things about FRC is that students learn to fail fast and redesign their robot in time for the spring competitions. They build confidence and expertise in STEM skills and learn valuable teamwork, leadership, and program management skills that will prepare them for future careers,” shared GravitechX club advisor of 6 years, Karen Fletcher.
The club receives support through grants and donations from a variety of community organizations such as The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), NASA, First Robotics, Westec Plastics, Labsmith, Rotary Club of Livermore, Livermore Valley Education Foundation (LVEF), Quest Science Center, Kaiser Aluminum, and Girl Scout Troop 30226.
“I am so pleased that the tremendous dedication of the students and adult mentors of GravitechX earned the team incredible success at this year’s regional competition. The team is poised for great success in the future and the Livermore High community is behind them one hundred percent!” exclaimed Principal Helen Gladden.
Photos courtesy of LVJUSD:
Photo 1: Livermore’s GravitechX team, pictured on front right, finished as a top semifinalist out of the 46 teams that competed.
Photos 2 and 3: GravitechX members pictured with Livermore’s robot.