A robotics team from Coeur d'Alene High School placed 14th in their division at the FIRST Robotics Competition world championship held last week in St. Louis.
The TeraViks became eligible to enter the competition just two weeks before the event. With the support of many Coeur d'Alene area sponsors, the team was able to raise the $15,000 it needed to travel to St. Louis.
This year's competition, dubbed Ultimate Ascent, challenged teams of high school students to spend six weeks building a robot able to compete against other robots in an arena game. The robots have to be able to point and shoot Frisbees, block other robots' Frisbees, and then climb a 90-foot high pyramid.
The TeraViks performed well at regional events held earlier in Portland, Ore., and Spokane, making it into the final rounds each time.
"Perhaps even more impressive than their record was the way the TeraViks overcome adversity in the midst of play," stated a press release, describing the team's performance in St. Louis. "After winning their first two matches, and while testing new improvements made to the robot that very morning (in order to maximize their scoring capability), they suffered a devastating fall off the top of the 8-foot pyramid."
But the TeraViks robot kept going.
"Even though their shooter was severely bent backwards at nearly a 180-degree angle, they quickly dismantled the robot, straightened the shooter (with the help of the NASA-run machine shop) and had the robot back together and on the field in less than an hour to compete in their next match."
They went on to win four out of their six remaining matches.