The PiE Robotics Competition


Corey Williams, Staff Writer

    The Pioneers in Engineering Robotics Competition is starting again and Pinole’s Robotics team: Bay Area Engineers or BAE; are ready to take first! Last year, the team made it to the second day of the final competition but lost during the alliances rounds and was out of the race to first place. But, the Robotics team did win the Judges’ Award, one of the most prestigious awards that can be given in the PiE competition, and was awarded to the team for demonstrating an awesome, well-rounded robot.

    The PiE Competition consists of 5 events which all occur for a period of two months at U.C Berkeley:

Kickoff (March 10th):

    The first event of the of the PiE Competition is Kickoff. On Kickoff, teams first get a speech on what PiE is all about and what’s going to be happening for the day. Second thing of the day is the teams getting the robot base kit for the season and meeting mentors who will help their respective teams out with anything they need (except building the robot of course!). After building the base kit the teams can go to workshops to refine their hardware or software skills in preparation for the competition.

Game Day (March 17th):

    The second event of the PiE Competition is Game Day. Game Day takes place one week after Kickoff and introduces the game for this year’s PiE Competition. Last year’s involved grabbing bundles of socks off the ground and grabbing t-shirts from a clothes line to gain points by scoring into goals on each teams respective sides. The day will start off with a logistical presentation then followed up by the presentation by the Game Design Committee. After all that, teams are given the rest of the time there to brainstorm strategies for the game, attend workshops, examine the game field, spy on other teams, and et cetera.

 Design Reviews (March 31st):

    The third event of the PiE Competition is Design Reviews. Design Reviews give participants a chance to show PiE staff and alumni, university professors, and industry professionals the team’s robot design for the competition. This allows participants to practice their formal presentation skills and get feedback on their designs.

Scrimmage (April 14th):

    The fourth event of the PiE Competition is the Scrimmage! The Scrimmage event gives participants the chance to test their robot and face off against other teams in practice matches. This will also allow participants to get accustomed to the game’s procedures. Robots that pass inspection may go on to the practice matches while the practice field is available to any team if they wish to use it.

Final Competition (April 28th-29th):

    The last event of the competition, fittingly named the Final Competition! The Final Competition is judged by Professors, alumni, and industry professionals. The judges will judge in many categories while the teams participate in qualification matches, alliance selection, and finally, the elimination bracket. Afterwards teams will be awarded awards for Engineering Professionalism, Engineering Journalism, Mechanical Design, software excellence, the Judges’ Award, and others as well.

    The Pinole Robotics team hopes to make it to at least the elimination bracket this year and our highest goal is to get first place and nothing else.