The Krypton Cougars, a Palmyra-based high school robotics squad, took the top spot at a FIRST Mid-Atlantic district competition earlier this month.

The competition was held March 4-5 at Hatboro-Horsham High School in Montgomery County. The Cougars competed against teams from New Jersey, Delaware, and eastern Pennsylvania.

Although the squad got off to a slow start in the first match, handicapped by a robotic arm failure, they turned it around to win 10 out of 12 of its qualifier matches and secured the opportunity to be the #1 alliance team captain.

In that berth, the Cougars were able to have first pick of the other squads in assembling a three-robot alliance to compete against seven other three-team alliances. The Cougars picked well, apparently, and led their alliance to a sweep of the playoff matches and win their spot in the final round.

The best out of three final round began with a loss for the Cougars, but the team turned it around and nearly notched a record score in the second match, which they won 163-108 (the third highest score in the worldwide competition). Although the third round started out poorly for the Cougars, they again turned their fortunes around and made up for lost points, winning the match 153-142.

Organizers said that the win not only gave the Cougars their first-ever first place win as an alliance captain during an in-season event, but also got them ranked 15th in an “offensive power ranking” metric out of 1,000 or so currently ranked teams worldwide.

Additionally, the Krypton Cougars received the Excellence in Engineering award for the design of its robot.

The Krypton Cougars’ robot competes at a FIRST Mid-Atlantic district competition earlier this month in Hatboro, PA. (Provided photo)

The performance secured for the Cougars a guaranteed invitation to the FIRST Mid-Atlantic District Championship, to be held April 6-8 at Lehigh University.

FIRST is an organization founded by inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen to help young people discover the excitement and rewards of science and technology and have fun doing it. Among Kamen’s inventions are the Segway, the Auto Syringe, and the iBOT Wheelchair.

The team will spend the time before their next competition continuing to improve their robot at their Hershey buildsite. The team competes again this weekend in Chestnut Hill.

For more information about the Krypton Cougars, visit the team’s website or Facebook page, or contact them via email at kryptoncougars2539@gmail.com.

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