Read more stories

    One of the many club offerings at International School Bangkok (ISB) is robotics and through this students participate in Vex Robotics competitions. ISB students are given a kit of materials to work from, in order to build a robot that can operate to complete a series of challenges set by Vex.  At the competitions, the robot can participate solo in a “skills competition” to show off programming or driver-controlled operations. Additionally, the robot will be paired with another robot to form an alliance and compete against other alliances.


    This year’s challenge included many different options for scoring. There were caps that could be flipped or lifted up and placed on a post. Platforms that could be climbed and flags that could be turned by picking up balls and shooting them.


    Robotic-1024x768Students began building their robots in August. They meet after school and on several weekends as we built up towards our first competition at Taipei American School at the end of November. We traveled with 3 robots and students in grades 9, 10 and 11.


    Robotic-4-pix-1024x1024The club, called Steel Panthers, is fun but also an excellent learning opportunity for all students involved. The team are dedicated, thorough and undergo countless field tests to get their robots ready, learning from each challenge they take part in.


    One challenge was at ISB, the ISB Scrimmage, where each team had a functioning robot that was able to compete. Parents, other faculty and students came through to see all the action!


    All of this got the team ready for the next major competition, the Battle in Bangkok hosted by NIST.  Our freshman team had a robot that consistently worked and could always flip discs and climb platforms. However, they had some tough match-ups and alliances with robots that were often less successful.


    For Robot 8861C, headed up by the Steel Panthers largest team, their quarterfinal match was so close, that it had to be played twice! The second time resulting in a win, sending our panthers on to the finals!


    This put them into the finals against our other ISB team, 8861B.  Throughout the season, their robot worked consistently and had a design that consistently yielded them 20+ points. They helped other teams and showed team spirit and sportsmanship throughout. 8861B finished victoriously and this combined with their top finish in the skills’ challenge resulted in them securing a spot in the world competition to be held in Kentucky in April! Meanwhile, team 8861C took the Judges’ award in part for their design notebook, which highlighted all the revisions they made to their robot over the past 4 months. Congratulations to all our Steel Panthers!