Gabe Ruiz, Jeremy Germita, and John Graham from the NASA Dryden-sponsored Garagebots Team 72 (blue shirts at left) and Team 452 PHI Alpha and their alliance partners prepare for their match against each other at the FIRST Tech Challenge regional completion in San Diego. Four high school robotics teams sponsored by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center scored well in the recent FIRST Tech Challenge regional robotics tournament in San Diego, with one – the PHI Alpha team mentored by Dryden aerospace engineer Joe Pahle – declared tournament champion.
The PHI Alpha team 452 went into the championship match against the tournament finalists Garagebots, Team 72, mentored by NASA Dryden chief technologist David Voracek. The Garagebots, the lead team of the fourth seed alliance, upset the number one seed in their division, PHI Omega Team 4322, also mentored by Pahle.
By virtue of their win in the San Diego regional tournament, PHI Alpha Team 452 is now eligible to compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge Championships in St. Louis on April 25, 2012.
The robot developed by the NASA Dryden-sponsored Garagebots Team No. 72 mixes it up with other robots during a contest at the FIRST Tech Challenge competition in San Diego. A fourth NASA Dryden-sponsored team, the Rick Rollers Team 4344 from Tehachapi mentored by NASA Dryden Flight Opportunities Program manager John Kelly, ended up ranked 17th their division.
Photos courtesy of David Voracek