MSS First Robotics team improves at the North Bay competitions

The Manitoulin Metal robotics team competed at Nipissing University from March 29-31. The team had a very successful competition, placing 14th out of 32 teams and finishing as the second highest ceded rookie team. The team is hoping to be in the top 60 teams when provincials are announced so that they can compete again this season. 

M’CHIGEENG—Manitoulin Secondary School’s (MSS) Manitoulin Metal robotics team has made great strides and improvement this year as evidenced by what their coach called was an “awesome” performance at a First Robotics competition held at Nipissing University last weekend.

“Actually the competition in this event was a lot tougher than the previous one we took part in, and we did awesome,” said Allan Davy on Sunday. He explained last weekend’s event included a total of 32 teams from across the province, and Manitoulin Metal placed 14th (and were the second highest ceded rookie team).

“There were teams from all over Ontario, and even a girls’ team from Afghanistan taking part, and they did really well,” said Mr. Davy.

The 32 teams competed in 64 qualification matches, according to Mr. Davy. The Mustangs landed at Nipissing University in North Bay on Thursday and took part in the qualifying matches held all day Friday and early Saturday.

The Mustangs team included Crissa Holliday, Sandi Kuntsi, lead driver Emily Savage (who controlled the interior movement of the teams robot), “who had nerves of steel and kept everyone calm, cool and collected,” said Mr. Davy. “Doug Robinson was the main driver of the robot.” J.D. Herlehy was the lead technician for the team, while Pierre Debassige danced in regalia at the spectacular opening ceremonies to the competition.

“This tournament was a lot more competitive than our first tournament and it was a great experience,” said Mr. Davy. “We burnt out a motor and had to scramble around to fix it. I switched out the motor, so the first day we had a semi-functional robot and on Saturday a fully functional robot, so it did everything it was designed to do.”

The team is hopeful to be in the top 60 teams when provincials are announced so they can compete again this season. Mr. Davy said the success of the Mustangs team this year bodes well for the future.

“We had a  couple of people help out with sponsorship but we still need more sponsorship to compete in the future events,” said Mr. Davy. “If anyone is interested in being part of our robotics club, they can contact me at the school.” He pointed out this could include community members who are welcome to the club, as are all MSS  parents and students.