KDSS Kinetic Knights gearing up for the world robotics competition in St. Louis, Missouri


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The Kincardine District Secondary School Kinetic Knights (FIRST® Team 781) pose with the gold-medal trophy and banner they won at the Queen City Regional in Cincinnati, Ohio, on the Easter weekend. Back, Alden O'Cain (L), Stephen Lewis, Gregory Reid, Richard Yun, Alex Pagnan, Brendan Rogers, Gregory Dadson, Pat O'Cain, Nikhil Deshpande, Stephen Ritter, Greg Poulsen, James Jackson, Luke Splettstoesser, Aaron Gordon, Bradley Reid, Logan Wolfe, Matt Pagnan, Kalvin Stares, Nathan Fohkens, Andy Rutledge, A.J. Adams; front, Mitchell Walker (L), Ervin Ibadula, Mercedes Battler, Sarah Nagus, Travis Shan, Tawny Robinson, Kush Joshi, Sara Cavasotto, Spencer Cook, David McDonald, Kinsey Collins, Aayushi Joshi, Dani Watterworth, Janelle Taylor and Mickey Collins
photos courtesy of the Kinetic Knights

Alden O'Cain (L) of the KDSS Kinetic Knights and his teammates (in green sweatshirts), Lia Cavasotto, Mercedes Battler and Luke Splettstoesser are joined by two members of Team 772 from LaSalle, Ontario, in singing "O Canada" at the start of the Queen City Regional in Cincinnati

The KDSS Kinetic Knights receive their gold medals at the end of Saturday's finals

The KDSS Kinetic Knights (L), in green sweaters, pose with the trophy and banner, and their Alliance 8 teammates, the TechnoKats and the Cybertooth
, from Kokomo, Indiana

The KDSS Kinetic Knights demonstrate their skills using the practice robot at the school Tuesday afternoon. Seated, operating the controls, are Matt Pagnan (L), James Jackson and Nikhil Deshpande

Video by Liz Dadson

For the second time in as many  years, the Kincardine District Secondary School Kinetic Knights (FIRST® Team 781), are headed for the world robotics championship in St. Louis, Missouri.

After competing at regionals in Oshawa (Greater Toronto East) and Waterloo and being eliminated in the semi-finals at both, the Knights finally came out on top in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Knights spent their Easter weekend competing at the inaugural Queen City Regional, playing against 56 other FIRST® robotics teams from Canada, Brazil and the United States. 

Called the "Rebound Rumble," the contest is a basketball-themed game with robots scoring baskets and balancing on seesaw-style bridges

The Knights finished the qualification matches in 21st place. However, during the Alliance selections, the Knights were invited to join the 8th ranked Alliance consisting of FIRST® Team 45, The TechnoKats, and FIRST® Team 3940, The Cybertooth, both from Kokomo, Indiana. 

Although their Alliance was the underdog throughout the elimination matches, Team 781 found itself competing in the finals, thanks to its Alliance’s ability to balance three robots on the bridge - the amazing "triple-balance". 

The first match of the finals finished with Alliance 8 earning the highest score of the competition, 91-83. However, its opponents would not give up that easily, keeping the second match of the finals at a tight score. 

It wasn’t until the concluding seconds when Kinetic Knights’ human player, Luke Splettstoesser, scored a basket from across the field, winning the match and the regional, 64-62.

A special mention goes out to the Kinetic Knights’ drive-team: Matt Pagnan, Luke Splettstoesser and Bradley Reid, led by build captain James Jackson. 

The Knights didn’t just come home with the regional champion title but also their fifth regional website award.  

The Kinetic Knights now have their eyes on a bigger prize as they gear up for the FIRST® World Championship in St. Louis, Missouri - where they finished second last year.

For those unable to travel with the team, there will be a live stream of the competition, Facebook updates, and Tweets with more information available on the Kinetic Knights' award-winning website, www.team781.com

The Knights will be holding a Penny War at KDSS next week and an elementary school dance in the beginning of June to help with the cost for the world championships, but they are always looking for new sponsors. If you would like to donate and sponsor the team, contact sponsorship@team781.com or call KDSS at 519-396-9151.

The Kinetic Knights appreciate all their current sponsors who have already made this season possible, and the community for all its support this past year.

FIRST® stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology."

The Kinetic Knights work on their robot in the pits

Team 781's robot lines up a basket

Alliance 8 (red team) wins the final match and the Queen City Regional

KDSS teacher Rob Kobielski (L), part of Team 781, cheers after receiving his gold medal in Cincinnati

Aayushi Joshi (L), Dani Watterworth and Ervin Ibadula of the Kinetic Knights stand in the pit area at the competition

The Kinetic Knights flag flies from a hockey stick which is very "Canadian"

Alliance 8 completes its game-winning triple balance

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Tuesday, April 10, 2012