​​HAX Robotics Team Takes Home First Season Win

Hannah Smith '25, Contributor

The girl set her controller down in a fit of frustration, rendered useless. Tensions rose—the crowd sitting at the edge of their seats. The hundreds of hours practicing over the past four months culminated in this moment. Suddenly, the buzzer rang, and the world froze. Or, at least, the Wolcott FIRST Tech Challenge competition did.
On January 15, Loomis Chaffee’s HAX Robotics team won their first competition of the season. Competing against 16 teams, they finished undefeated and won the Innovate Award for their “thinking outside the box” skills when creating the mechanisms of their robot. Their quick-thinking skills helped fix critical malfunctions within the robot during the competition, solving last-minute problems with narrow margins between matches.
HAX Robotics embodies the essence of STEM through problem solving, teamwork, and creative thinking. Their team culture and efforts over the past two terms allowed them to create a highly developed robot for use in local competitions.
“Robotics, robotics, robotics. When entering robotics, I expected it to be more…boring, but it has become incredible seeing my hard work paying off after winning our first competition,” Guilherme Martignago Cassol ’24, one of HAX’s new members, said.
The team has been a part of the Loomis Chaffee community for the past 15 years. Most days, they can be found after school in the Pearse Hub for Innovation, where they engineer and program a robot to complete certain tasks through an array of obstacles. HAX prides themselves in basing engineering work around the design process: identifying a problem, brainstorming, making a prototype, testing & revising. This process is repeated as many times as needed to create the most effective product possible, and it has been used for the robot’s arm, linear slides, and wheels.
The members of the team come from a wide variety of backgrounds: some are entirely new to robotics, while others are well-seasoned veterans. The range of perspectives proves helpful when trying to solve a problem with the robot.
“Because we include both under and upperclassmen in our prototyping, building, and programming processes, we are always flooded with fresh ideas,” HAX Build Captain Andrew Park ’22 said.
The team has two coaches: Mr. Ewen Ross, Physics Department faculty member, and Mrs. Jennine Solomon, Associate Director of Innovation. Additionally, they have student captains Asher Kornfeld ’22, Alexa Becker ’22, Jay Srivastava ’22, and Andrew Park ’22, who have been a part of the team for a combined 15 years. They have helped lead the team to victory with their programming skills, strong perseverance, and problem-solving skills in high stress situations.