Team JetStream at Las Vegas robotics tournament

Otis, the robot, from the Rancho Palos Verdes-based Team JetStream, is shown here lifting up a power cube at a regional robotics contest in Las Vegas. Members of the team included (left to right): Adam Kaplan, Jennifer Kim, Lauren Tateyama, Cameron Potvin, Tori Wong, Jasmine Weddle, Connor Whalen, Caroline Louttit, Benjamin Louttit, Daryl Ide, Sean Peters and Drew Peters. Not pictured: Paul Jensen

Two local FIRST Robotics Competition teams – community-based Team JetStream of Rancho Palos Verdes and Palos Verdes High School’s Sea Kings Robotics – placed fourth and fifth, respectively, in a three-day regional tournament in Las Vegas.

Every year, FIRST Robotics challenges high school students to build a robot that can excel in a featured game. This year’s game, FIRST POWER UP, is an arcade-style challenge where six teams are trapped in a video game and must work in alliances of three robots each, tipping the scale or the alliance’s switch in their favor. The longer the alliance has control of these elements, the more points they score.

Teams can also exchange power cubes for power ups to gain a timed temporary advantage during the match. During the last 30 seconds of each match, robots climb a scale tower to “face the boss.” At the end of the match, the alliance with the most points wins.

The two local teams competed with 42 other teams from all over the world.

After 88 qualification matches, JetStream and Sea Kings Robotics teamed with The Agency of Escondido to make up a playoff alliance, which then advanced to the quarterfinal before being knocked out.

“We are thrilled that as a small first-year team, we made it to the playoffs in both competitions we entered this year. We are excited that we got to share our experience with another local Palos Verdes team,” said JetStream Team Captain and Lead Driver Benjamin Louttit.

Team JetStream is a non-profit high school-level robotics team formed in 2017 and composed of members from around the South Bay area, including Rancho Palos Verdes, Palos Verdes Estates, and Torrance.

For more information about Team JetStream, visit facebook.com/frc2710/.

Sea Kings Robotics is a club made up of Palos Verdes High students and was formed in 2014.

For more information about Sea Kings Robotics, visit thebluealliance.com/team/5285/2018.

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