Warren County Technical School’s robotics team, known as the Wireless Alternative Lifeforms Keen on Exploration in Robotics Systems (or, less of a mouthful, W.A.L.K.E.R.S), may have been eliminated from the FIRST Technology Robotics Challenge (FTC) at the state level, but, in true zombie fashion, are sure to come back next year with even more bite.
Known in the competition as FTC Team #5339, Warren Tech’s team had a strong showing this year and made several improvements from last season.
The team won five out of five of their qualifying bouts, and then came second place overall in the “Turnpike” division before getting knocked out in the state semi-finals. They had made some key improvements to their robot this year over last, and for the first time in team history used sensors in the “autonomous mode.”
Though they didn’t move on to the regional round, “The Walking Dead”-themed W.A.L.K.E.R.S. did take home one coveted prize from the “Garden State Rumble.” They were presented with the Rubbly Award for best costumes. The Rubbly Award is a high honor in the FTC circle, in which teams pick a theme and dress up for matches. For those unfamiliar with “The Walking Dead,” the Warren Tech team dressed up as the television show’s villians, zombies.
The state finals were held at the New Jersey Institute of Technology Campus in the Fleischer Athletic Center. A total of 48 teams competed in what was described as an “electric atmosphere.”