Management Professor Bruce Paton referees first California robotics state championship
News + Events : Management Professor Bruce Paton referees first California robotics state championship
SF State faculty and staff members responded to President Wong’s call for a day of service in a variety of ways. Some joined the President in planting trees, others volunteered with local non-profits.
Management Department Chair Bruce Paton chose a more unusual route.
He spent the day refereeing the first annual VEX Robotics California State Championship. The competition attracted 48 teams from all over California. Winners of the state championship qualified for the VEX Robotics World Championship in Anaheim, Calif., in April.
VEX competitors include high school and middle school students who design, build, program, and operate their robots. Competitions include an autonomous period, when robots operate through programmed routines, followed by a 1 minute, 45-second period in which students drive their robots by remote control to scoop up game pieces and place them in goals faster than their opponents can.
For Paton, all that meant refereeing 96 qualifying competitions and 17 quarter-final, semi-final, and final matches. “It was a long day,” he observed, “but it was worth it to see the kind of amazing design and engineering talent California is turning out.”