Viera High robotics team qualifies for state tournament


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Members of Viera High's PINK Alliance, right, pose with the Super 7 from Oviedo High after winning the district championship and advancing to next month's state tournament.

VIERA VOICE Courtesy of David Formanek

Overkill is one heck of a robot.

And the students who built it, members of Viera High’s PINK Alliance Robotics team, are pretty special, too.

That’s why the team is going to the state tournament Feb. 3 at the Prime Convention Center in Jacksonville.

“We’re really excited,” said David Formanek, the PINK Alliance Robotics faculty advisor.

Made up of students from five different high schools, including 12 from Viera, the members of the PINK Alliance have been meeting two or three times a week since September, plotting out strategy and working on their robot in preparation for a First Tech Challenge competition called Relic Recovery.

“Basically, the purpose of the game was to grab cubes and score them in (these) side boxes, and then also pick up the relics and place them outside the field on different scoring pads, right side up if you could,” Viera High senior Derek Perdomo said.

“The last part was also to be able to scan a picture on the wall and be able to interpret that picture to decide which of the boxes to score in.”

The team came out of qualifying as the No. 1 seed and quickly formed an alliance with the No. 2 seed for the championship round, which pitted two sets of teams against each other.

“We knew we were going to do well,” said Perdomo, the PINK Alliance captain and lead software developer.

“I had a lot of faith in our drivers and I had a lot of faith in our robot.”

Other members of the team from Viera include: Logan Bautista-Leaf; Daniel Del Valle; Jacob Hart; Zachary Lannon; Brianna Loughran; Hanna Radcliffe; Kai Rodriguez; Brooks Silber; Isaiah Tadrous; Jordan Tsigas and Liana Villafuerte.

The rest of the team is made up from students from Cocoa Beach (Jace Childs; Ian Cook; Chris Douglass; Aiden Fleming and Aden Widerman), Melbourne Central Catholic (Nathan Snyder), Rockledge (Sean King; Jose Malave; Troy Patrick; Tyrese Patrick; Ari Singleton; Jessie Traver) and Space Coast (Jakob Anderson, Ryan Hutchison and Matthew Quinlan).

Silber, a Viera High freshman, said has really enjoyed being part of the robotics team.

“I really like it because it’s fun,” Silber said. “We have a fun time here. Everybody’s very kind. It’s very fun to work on a project for a very long time and go through all the struggles and then complete it at the end, which is the best feeling in the world.”

A win at the state tournament would mean a trip to Athens, Ga. next month for the Super South Regional, followed by the World Championships in Houston in April.

Of course, beating out 37 other teams at the state tournament won’t be easy. That’s why the team is still working hard to make improvements to Overkill to make sure it’s ready for the upcoming challenge.

“I think it’s going to be a fun struggle going to that tournament, but I still believe in our drivers and our robot to be able to pull it off,” Perdomo said.