Matt Pasko

Mr. Bitler once said “Here at Delbarton, we are brothers. But our battlebots are not.” His words rang true as middle schoolers pitted their mechanical creations against each other last week. The Middle School Robotics & Engineering Club, composed of 7th and 8th graders, had worked on their bots for months. The teams had a good amount of freedom to design their bots. Each robot had to fit in a 12x12x12” box, had limits on their battery voltage, and couldn’t use acid, poisonous materials, or explosives (unfortunately). But beyond this, the teams made their designs their own. 

The competition had two rounds: semifinals on Tuesday and the finals on Wednesday. There were three ways to win a round. First, a team could win by pushing its opponent out of bounds: a circular ring 40 inches in diameter. Second, a team would win if their opponent was disabled and couldn’t move for 30 seconds. Finally, if a team completely destroyed their opponent, they would be victorious. 

The competition got off to an explosive start and ended up in a victory for Team Toaster. This bot, complete with a pink picture of Queen Elizabeth, sustained some damage but eventually won by damaging their opponent and pushing it out of the ring. 

The 2022 competition was just the beginning. Hopefully the success of this year’s competition inspires other middle schoolers, and even high schoolers, to join the competition so the 2023 tournament will be even more explosive and amazing.