FIRST Student Robotics Teams Wrap Up 2013 Build Season

Share Article

Francis Parker High School Robotics Team, the W.A.R. Lords, complete robot submission in time for competition March 7 -9 with help from sponsors like

W.A.R. Lords Student Robotics Team

The W.A.R. Lords Robot, Sun Tzu, is ready for the FIRST Robotics Competition 2013

Surprisingly the easiest part of the challenge was the shooter for tossing the Frisbees. It takes only 2 seconds for us to make 4 shots, and the robot can shoot from anywhere on the field., a leading source for high-quality, energy-efficient LED lighting, mentored and sponsored the FIRST Robotics team from Francis Parker High School in San Diego throughout the past 6 weeks through their build season. With the help of other team sponsors and mentors, the W.A.R. Lords (We Are Robot Lords) team was able to design, build, program, and test their robot to meet the season’s engineering challenge, finishing on February 19, 2013.

“It was so great to see the progress the students made throughout their build season,” said Greg Thorson, President of “It was a pleasure to work with the team and share technical skills on lighting systems to help them improve their robot. We are very excited for the competitions to start!”

The Francis Parker W.A.R. Lords had nine mentors helping the team on nights and weekends. They helped the various builders and programmers construct the robot and offered best practices in programming and other technical skills.

“All of our mentors are absolutely fantastic and incredibly dedicated to the team and club,” said Kay Toma, W.A.R. Lords team member. “We would not have been able to accomplish what we did in such a short amount of time without their support. We look forward excitedly to the San Diego and San Bernardino regional competitions that lay ahead of us.”

FIRST Robotics Competition 2013: Ultimate Ascent

Announced on January 5 via a live NASA-TV broadcast to nearly 51,000 high school students, the FIRST Robotics Competition game for 2013 is called Ultimate Ascent. Ultimate Ascent is played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes by trying to score as many flying discs into their goals as possible during the two-minute and 15-second match. Discs scored in higher goals score Alliances more points. Matches end with robots attempting to climb up pyramids located near the middle of the field.

Watch a video of the Ultimate Ascent game:

“Surprisingly the easiest part of the challenge was the shooter,” said Matthew Handmacher, W.A.R. Lords team member. “While at first we thought that the Frisbee throwing would be inaccurate, we now see that an accurate shooter was much easier to create than we thought. It takes 2 seconds for us to shoot and make 4 shots. The robot is currently capable of shooting from anywhere on the field.”

W.A.R. Lords Robot, Sun Tzu

The robot “stop build day” was February 9, 2013 when all teams stopped working on their robots and sealed them up in a bag provided by FIRST. At that time the robots must be stored away and untouched until the competitions start.

"If teams are unable to complete their robot by the deadline, they can be penalized in the competition by having 30 lbs. added to their robot,” explained Marty Kausas, W.A.R. Lords team member. “Our Bag-and-Tag day was very eventful as we tested our climber, practiced, and put the lights on Sun Tzu before the midnight end of the season."

Watch a video of the Sun Tzu Robot in action:

The team decided to name their robot Sun Tzu this year to match their team name the W.A.R. Lords. Sun Tzu was an ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who wrote The Art of War, an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy. The 2012 team’s robot was named Yaroslav, after the war lord Yaroslav the Wise, another historical figure.

“In the spirit of FIRST, we like to choose names of war lords who were known for characteristics like their intelligence, not based not their military successes or aggressiveness,” said Kay Toma, W.A.R. Lords team member.

San Diego Regional FIRST Robotics Competition

FIRST Robotics Teams will participate in 77 Regional and District competitions that measure the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.

The seventh annual San Diego Regional FIRST Robotics Competition will be held at the Valley View Casino Center (formerly San Diego Sports Arena) in San Diego, CA, Thursday through Saturday, March 7th – 9th, 2013. The competition is an intense three-day event showcasing robots developed and operated by dozens of high school teams from all over the world.

FIRST events are free and open to the public. To locate an FRC event near you visit

About Environmental Lights is an industry leader in providing specialized LED lighting solutions for their business partners through expert engineering, superior products, and dependable service. Their in-house sales engineers provide complimentary advice in the selection and design of lighting systems, as well as technical support throughout the installation process.

They offer a broad spectrum of LED light bulbs, rope and strip light, under cabinet lighting systems, dimmers, controllers and necessary hardware for any lighting project.
For more information visit

About the FIRST Robotics Competition

For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) was created to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. It is a non-profit organization that designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering.

The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) is an exciting, multinational competition that teams professionals and young people together to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. FRC gives high school students (grades 9 – 12) a kit of parts and about six weeks to build a robot to meet the challenge of the game announced for the year. In that time frame they must design, build, program and practice with their robot so they are ready for the regional competitions starting in March.

For more information visit

About Francis Parker School

Founded in 1912, Francis Parker School is San Diego's oldest and largest independent, non-denominational, co-educational day school. A college preparatory school committed to sustaining a diverse, family-oriented educational community, Francis Parker School remains true to its founding principle of meeting the needs of the individual student.

For more information visit

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Stacy Brown
Follow us on
Visit website