The Student News Site of Palo Alto High School

The Campanile

The Campanile

The Campanile

Peninsula Robotics qualifies for world championship

The Peninsula Robotics team, also known as Team 6036, placed first out of 48 teams at the Idaho FIRST Robotics Regional Competition on April 1, qualifying for the world championship. 

Since its founding in 2016 in a two-car garage in Palo Alto, Team 6036, which consists mainly of Paly and Gunn students, has quickly risen the ranks to become 9th out of 3300 teams in the world according to the team’s website. This season, Team 6036 has won the Arizona East and Idaho regional tournaments and placed second at the Hueneme Port Regional.

The FIRST Championship, which will take place in Houston from April 19 to 22, is an international robotics competition for youth. Teams typically qualify either through pre-qualification based on their performance at the 2022 FIRST Championships or through merit-based qualifiers such as winning a regional competition.

Software captain and junior Ashray Gupta said the team had a record-setting year due to a lot of recruits.

“Last year was a reinvention of the team,” Gupta said. “A bunch of seniors had just graduated, so most of us joined as sophomores, and last year we got our first regional win in the team’s history.”

Unlike most robotics teams, Team 6036 has an open-door policy, which means anyone can join at the start of the season regardless of experience. 

“Gunn, Paly and a lot of school teams have a closed-door policy because so many people want to apply,” Gupta said. “But our policy has always been open-door. Our team’s founders were actually rejected from the teams over here.”

Gupta also said many teammates went the extra mile to put in hours toward the success of the robot. 

“Our lab’s open almost every hour,” Gupta said. “Some people can pull around 40 hours a week. Last year, my longest week was 55 to 60 hours.” 

Business captain and Paly junior Sidd Sen said the team’s lack of school affiliation, uncommon for robotics teams competing at FIRST, made the team’s lack of funding an obstacle. 

“But it hasn’t been much of an impairment to our team because of the benevolence of our community,” Sen said. “Without that 40% (funding) from the community, we would definitely be struggling. But because of our open-door and no-cut nature, we are strongly grounded in our community roots.” 

Moving forward, Sen said he hopes Peninsula Robotics will continue to be a source of inspiration and positive impact in the Palo Alto community.

“We want to inspire more STEM students because we have all been impacted positively by the team,” Sen said. “We want to spread (inspiration) to as many people as we can, and continue to be a pillar of our local community.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Shamsheer Singh
Shamsheer Singh, Staff Writer
Donate to The Campanile
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Campanile Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *