BIDDEFORD — The Mount Desert Island High School robotics team and their allies won the Vex Maine State Championship competition Saturday from a field of 50 teams. The alliance that included MDI, Foxcroft Academy and Hampden Academy defeated opponents from Cape Elizabeth and Boothbay Region High School in two matches in the finals, 42-22 and 80-59.
The robots are designed to pick up yellow cones and transport heavy mobile goals. Each match is two-minutes long, with two teams working together to compete against two other teams. The first 15 seconds, the robot operates autonomously, and then there is one minute, 45 seconds of “driver control.” The two-minute matches are where the months of designing, building, prototyping, revising, programming and fixing come together.
“Just wanted to prove I didn’t peak in middle school,” said Taki Ishimura, captain of the MDI team. He and fellow former Conners Emerson students Robbie Denegre, Branden Dagenais and Lucas Ingebritson were middle school Lego robotics world champions. The MDI team also includes Gloria Kelley, Maev Rogers, Chris Allen, Tyler Bechtold and Massimo Daul.
The team, along with their alliance partners and teams that won Excellence and Design awards, will represent Maine at the World Championships in Louisville, Ky., April 25-28.