Robotics: The Intellectual Sport


Bryan A. Rector

A look inside the Robotics Shed. The build season is set to begin on January 9th

Presumably, the concept of referring to robotics as a sport will not sit too well with some folks (you know who you are). However, after spending an afternoon in the presence of master builders (robotics team members) it can and will be clarified that robotics qualifies as a sport. The premise of robotics is to collaborate with students and coaches to create a machine that can perform defined tasks in a more efficient manner than other ‘bots. To determine which robots are the premiere ones, there are competitions between schools across the state and country who try to accrue the most points based on the success of the teams designs. 

WHS is fortunate to excel at these competitions, similarly to many other sports. The school has sent its team to compete at tournaments on a national level before, and students have scored tremendous opportunities as a byproduct of the work they have done with the team. A former student, Andrew Kassab, is working on a degree at the University of British Columbia and he participates in the engineering design team at the school which develops rockets. Meanwhile, another former student (Nick Burrell) is interning at Autodesk where he is developing software. Currently, the WHS team has been contracted by Verizon to develop robots which will simulate the movement of clientele through a building in order to better understand the influence of movement on a wireless connection. When asked about all their research, senior Daniel Kassab pointed to coaching and resources- “We have been so fortunate to receive grants that allow us to improve our equipment and our community has united us with amazing coaches who have unimaginable insight to the field.” With this insight and advanced technology the team has grown exponentially and looks to continue that trend for years to come.