THS Toa Robotics Teams shine at JROTC Live Remote Skills event
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Two robotics teams from Tafuna High School JROTC program, Toa Robotics and Toa Robotics 2.0, demonstrated their engineering skills and strategic thinking at the JROTC Live Remote Skills Event on Feb. 7, 2024.
The competitive gathering was designed to foster skills in robotics and team collaboration among JROTC students. Hosted by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, this event offered a unique platform for teams who had not competed this season, allowing them to showcase their talents in a highly engaging and educational setting.
On the left is robot #21111A, led by Team Captain c/LTC Charles Tauiliili with team members c/CPT Nicholle Sualevai, c/SSG Danny Young, c/SSG Pemerika Tauiliili, c/SSG Joseph Spitzenberg and freshman c/PFC Emanuele Ah Vu. Right is robot #21111B led by Team Captain c/LTC Isalei Liaiga, alongside members c/MAJ Francis Ah Vui, c/MAJ Ladenia Lavatai, c/CPT Filiga Tufa, i, and c/CPT Taipo Sia. [courtesy photo]
This year’s VEX Robotics Competition Game is titled Over Under and is played on a 12’x12’ square field. In the Live Remote Skills event, teams compete in sixty-second (1:00) long Matches in an effort to score as many points as possible with the green and red triballs. These Matches consist of Driving Skills Matches, which are entirely driver controlled, and Autonomous Coding Skills Matches, which are autonomous with limited human interaction. Teams are ranked based on their combined score in the two types of Matches.
Toa Robotics 2.0 (Team #21111B) made an impressive mark by earning a combined score of 194, with a driver-high score of 108 and a programming-high score of 86. The team, led by Team Captain c/LTC Isalei Liaiga, alongside members c/MAJ Francis Ah Vui, c/MAJ Ladenia Lavatai, c/CPT Filiga Tufa, i, and c/CPT Taipo Sia, demonstrated exceptional skills and coordination, setting a high bar for the competition.
Toa Robotics Team 2.0 in action during autonomous portion of tournament. [courtesy photo]
On the other side, Toa Robotics (Team #21111A), led by Team Captain c/LTC Charles Tauiliili with team members c/CPT Nicholle Sualevai, c/SSG Danny Young, c/SSG Pemerika Tauiliili, c/SSG Joseph Spitzenberg and freshman c/PFC Emanuele Ah Vui also showcased their robotic expertise by achieving a combined score of 89, with a driver high score of 37 and a programming high score of 52. Despite facing tough competition, the team's dedication and hard work were evident in their performance.
The event was structured to accommodate teams with scheduled half-hour time slots between 15:30 and 22:30 Eastern Time, allowing them to demonstrate their skills in driver control and programming matches. Teams were required to have a full field setup and a live webcam to ensure a comprehensive view of the field and driver station, ensuring fairness and transparency throughout the competition.
As the season standings are finalized on March 10, 2024, Toa Robotics 2.0 currently ranks 21 out of 189, and Toa Robotics ranks 69 out of 189 among the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Space Force, and Coast Guard JROTC programs. Their efforts will go on to compete for a slot at the JROTC National Championship at World VEX in Dallas, Texas. This achievement marks a significant milestone as this was the first Live Remote Skills Event done on the island for the VEX Robotics Competition at the high school level.
Special thanks are extended to the parents of these cadets, who allowed them to practice before and after school and on weekends in preparation for the Live Remote Skills Event tournament. Their support has been invaluable in this journey. Additionally, gratitude is owed to THS JROTC Instructors SFC Lei Solaita, MSG Acania Puletasi, and MAJ Siimoa Galoia, who served as the teams' coaches, and to Principal Tutuila Togilau of Tafuna High School for always supporting the THS JROTC program.
This event not only highlighted the participants' technical skills but also emphasized the importance of teamwork, strategic planning, and adaptability. The remarkable performances of both Toa Robotics and Toa Robotics 2.0 at the JROTC Live Remote Skills Event are a testament to the dedication of Tafuna High School's JROTC program to nurturing the next generation of engineers, programmers, and leaders.
The Tafuna High School JROTC Vex Teams — Toa Robotics and Toa Robotics 2.0 — gather in prayer prior to the competition — a JROTC Live Remote Skills event’ titled, “Over Under”, on Feb. 7, 2024. [courtesy photo]
As we celebrate the achievements of these young roboticists, it's clear that the future of STEM is bright, with students like those from the THS JROTC program leading the way.