Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

PHS hosting 6th annual Robotics competition Saturday


“Spot” the 4-legged dog-like robot will be making a cameo appearance Saturday morning from 8:30 to 10:30 at Peekskill High School for demonstrations and hands-on opportunities for the public. Spot is a omi-directional robot that uses five 3-D cameras to map its surroundings and avoid obstacles. Representatives from Boston Dynamics, the company that created the robot, will be on hand with Slalom, a professional services company in technology and business. “Spot” and other robotics were featured in a March 2021 episode of 60 Minutes.

The reason for the visit of such famous robots is the 6th Annual First Tech Challenge competition at Peekskill High School.  The Peekskill High School Robotics program is hosting the competition which will feature 28 teams from across New York State. Winners from this competition will advance to the NYS Finals in Utica, New York.

The PHS Robotics team preparing for the competition.

The Peekskill High School Robotics program, which began in 2016, has grown tremendously over the past 8 years. The program currently serves 15 students and features two teams. The senior team, The Iron Devils (Team 4243) will be hosting Saturday’s competition while the underclassmen team, The Mechanical Devils (Team 12399) will participate in the day’s events.

The Iron Devils have already secured their spot for the NYS Championships after winning the Utica competition last month.

“Our students are ready for Saturday, and have been working hard around the clock strategizing  for the competition,” said Carlo Vidrini, Peekskill High School Robotics teacher. “Their dedication is unmatched. We stay after school to work and many of them continue their work and programming at home after they leave. It’s great to see them develop a love for what they are doing. I know their efforts will pay off on Saturday.”

                                              The above video shows what a robotics competition looks like.

“I am thrilled to host this exciting event that celebrates innovation and ingenuity,” said Janice Reid, Peekskill’s director of technology, who helps coordinate the PHS robotics tournament with Vidrini. “Hosting provides us with the opportunity to showcase the incredible diversity of robotic designs and technologies aimed at tackling tasks with utmost efficiency and effectiveness. It’s a testament to the creativity and problem-solving skills of our students, who continually push the boundaries of what’s possible in the field of robotics. I’m proud to be a part of an event that fosters a culture of exploration and discovery, inspiring the next generation of innovators in our district.”