On Thursday, 7 April, 2016, Marc Garneau’s two robotics teams competed in three events at the annual Zone 01 Robotics Competition at the Ronald Marion School in Pickering. Each team, the Marc Garneau Machines and the Marc Garneau Monsters, came home with a silver medal.

Participants arrived as early as 8 am to test out their robots, which were built out of Lego NXT and EV3 parts. This year, 61 teams, and over 200 people registered for the event in total, an substantial increase from the 13 teams present the previous year. At 10:30 am, after a speech from Strategic Development Leader, Dominic Bruneau, the competition officially commenced.

The grade 9 team, the Marc Garneau Machines, composed of Kevin Huang, Helen Lin, Jeremy Phy, and Henry Tang, participated in two events: Continental Drift and Waste Sorting. For the Continental Drift event, competitors had to build and program a robot that would brawl against opposing robots, attempting to knock them out of the stadium ring. After drawing in the previous four rounds of the finals, the Machines narrowly lost in the fifth round against team Weximus Prime, winning the silver medal.

The Marc Garneau Machines looking over their robot. (Photo courtesy of Kai Huang)

Marc Garneau Machines team members looking over their robot. (Photo courtesy of Kai Huang)

In the Waste Sorting event, robots had to correctly identify waste products and dispose of them in the proper bin. This event was much more difficult, as it was meant for the World Robot Olympiad. The Machines had trouble identifying the products and were not successful in the event.

The second robotics team, the Marc Garneau Monsters, was composed of Bruce He, Saiyam Patel, James Robins, and Maxx Wu. They also competed in the Continental Drift, as well as the Deep Water Salvage. They were extremely successful in the Deep Water Salvage where robots were required to identify and retrieve simulated capsules—Lego bricks that resemble real life capsules—and won the silver medal.

MGCI Robotics Team takes two silver medals home at the Zone 01 Robotics Competition. (Photo courtesy of Kai Huang)

A team photo of the Marc Garneau Machines and the Marc Garneau Monsters with their robots and medals. (Photo courtesy of Kai Huang)

The gold medalists of the competition will be moving on to the Zone 01 finals in Montreal on the 21 and 22 of April. The winners of the Waste Sorting Competitions will also advance to the World Robot Olympiad in New Delhi, India.

Overall, the competition was a great success. Jeremy Phy said, “Getting silver was a great feat considering it was our first time here. We learned many important lessons such as the value of time management and teamwork and we hope to return next year with better results.”