Young robot builders race into future

In a footrace, “Star Wars” droid R2-D2 wouldn’t stand a chance against the robots built by San Mateo County’s youngest engineers.

Take El Toro’s Revenge, for example. It may not be the best looking robot ever made, but it can rip around a racetrack, according to the Mills High School students who built it.

“He’s the highest-performing robot at the lowest cost,” said a proud Kevin Chen, 16, animation manager for the Mills Robotics Team.

The Mills team entered speedy El Toro, built on a $400 budget, into the FIRST Robotics Competition this weekend at San Jose State University’s Event Center.

The 10th annual FIRST competition featured a bevy of robots designed and constructed by teenage engineers from high schools across California and as far as Mexico and Hawaii.

Teams of up to 20 students spent more than a month constructing remote-controlled robots that can pick up and carry inflatable balls while racing around a track.

Mills was one of three San Mateo County high schools involved in the competition. Aragon entered a robot called The Faustinator and Menlo-Atherton entered Ma Bear.

Teams raise funds for parts and competition fees. Aragon has marketers and public-relations representatives along with its engineers. The team prints a newsletter as a progress report for sponsors.

“We don’t just learn how to create a robot, we learn to create an image for ourselves,” said Katie Ward, an Aragon teacher and team adviser.

maldax@examiner.com

Just Posted

Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence patch things up with leather fair organizers

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and organizers of S.F.’s leather fair have patched things up.

Rare monkey born at San Francico Zoo

A rare monkey was born at San Francisco Zoo and Gardens, zoo… Continue reading

Planning Commissioner Rich Hillis steps down to seek role as department head

San Francisco Planning Commissioner Richard Hillis has resigned from his post and… Continue reading

Death on BART tracks prompts major systemwide delay

An unidentified person entered the trackway at Powell Street BART station and was struck by a train.

Federal judge blocks California law to force disclosure of Trump’s tax returns

Sep. 19—SACRAMENTO — A federal judge ordered a temporary injunction Thursday against… Continue reading

Most Read