CSUN robotics team makes world tournament playoffs

Samantha Tata

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CSUN’s Vex Robotics Team placed 14 of 35 their first time competing in the international tournament that pits robots from universities in Mexico, Brazil, China, New Zealand and the United States against one another.

CSUN sent four representatives to the Vex Robotics World Championship in Kissimmee, Fla., in April, where they battled their way into the playoffs, losing to an undefeated team.

“It’s okay, because we will win next year,” said Aflie Gil, 25.

The mechanical engineering graduate student said she has been involved in robotics since high school and credits her future to her experiences with the team.

“Robotics put me on the path to engineering,” she said.  “We all use robots but we don’t know it.  They build our cars and our cell phones, we only see the end product.”

Teammate Robert Breyer, 25, said the industry presence of robots will not decrease in the future.

“They’re taking your jobs,” he said with a laugh.  “The focus is on efficiency.  The jobs don’t disappear, they just go elsewhere.”

Breyer, a junior mechanical engineering major, credited robots with allowing man to partake in more leisurely activities.  He and his teammates are in the process of programming their robots to pick up and move objects.

“Just knowing how to use a computer is not enough anymore,” Breyer said.

He noted his club is scheduled to visit a Simi Valley middle school in June to recruit students into the field of robotics, science and engineering.

Breyer and Gil presented the A.S. senate with a certificate of appreciation for funding the team’s trip.