Lambot and Botbusters are the only Mexican teams to advance to the FIRST Robotics Competition playoffs.
By José Longino Torres | CONECTA Special Guest - 04/23/2022 Photo Eric Ramírez, Hecson Olguín, Andrea Zertuche

The PrepaTec and Tecmilenio teams participated in the FIRST Robotics Competition, one of the most important youth robot competitions in the world, in which several Mexican teams stood out.

PrepaTec San Luis team Lambot is well-known in these competitions. It advanced to the quarterfinals as the leading team, winning 5th place out of more than 70 teams from around the world in its division.

Even Dean Kamen, inventor and founder of the FIRST Robotics Competition, came down to the pits to personally congratulate the Lambot crew on their performance.

Also, Botbusters, the PrepaTec Eugenio Garza Sada team from Monterrey, was selected for their performance by another leading team to join their alliance in the quarterfinals.

The Tecmilenio, Deros, and Derof teams were also recognized for their performance in the competition.


Dean Kamen, in the gold Mariachi hat, congratulating the Lambot team during the world competition in Houston.
Dean Kamen


Kamen thanked the Mexican teams for their participation in this competition.

“To all Mexican teams, thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for your incredible support of FIRST (...) and for the continuous and long-standing support of our programs,” he said in an interview with CONECTA.

“I can’t wait for us to all see each other again in Mexico, here (in Houston), and in Europe (in Geneva in October) for FIRST Global. We love you guys, thanks.”


Lambot becoming alliance captain

All teams were assigned to one of six divisions (Carver, Galileo, Hopper, Newton, Roebling, and Turing) to compete as if it were a regional tournament.

The PrepaTec San Luis Potosí robotics team almost advanced to the semifinals for the second time in this competition, winning a game but losing two in the quarterfinals.

They won fifth place in the regular round of the Hopper division, made up of 75 teams, winning eight games, losing one, and drawing another.

This allowed them to become alliance captain, meaning they could choose the teams that would participate with them in the final rounds.

“(There are) mixed feelings because we came with the intention of doing well and we believe that we did. Honestly, I think that everything that has been achieved despite these years of being in a pandemic is invaluable,” said Laura Tapia, Lambot’s head coach.

“Coming in fifth out of all the teams we competed with is a great achievement for us. We’ve broken a record and we’re one step closer to Lambot’s goals,” she said.


Lambot became the alliance captain team.
Lambot logró ser capitán de alianza.


Botbusters intends to keep achieving great things

The PrepaTec Eugenio Garza Sada team was selected by one of the highest-ranking alliances to compete in the playoffs, as the second Mexican team.

It ranked 25th out of 75 teams in the regular round, with six wins and four losses, and was selected to take part in an alliance in the final rounds.

“We’re very proud of the season we had. We won’t forget it. Three wins (in regional rounds) and one in the United States isn’t easy. We’re very proud,” said Botbusters head coach Francisco Guerra.

“We are leaving with many ideas and a great desire to continue working and achieving great things. We’re already thinking about what’s coming next, how we are going to make sure we come back, and how we’re going to improve. We’re not defeated. We’ll be back,” he said.

Botbusters won the FIRST regional rounds at the Monterrey, Laguna, and Arkansas campuses.


The Botbusters team participated in their division’s quarterfinals during the FIRST competition.


Tecmilenio was awarded for team performance

The Deros and Derof teams, from Tecmilenio Durango and Torreón, respectively, were recognized for their work during this competition.

Deros was recognized with the Rookie All-Star Award in this competition, after winning the FIRST Regional rounds at the Laguna campus last March.

Deros coach Alejandro Avilés said that this award is the result of months of work.

“My job was to guide the kids to do their best, to reevaluate the design of the robot, for example. In the end, we reached our goal, which was the prize,” he said.

This award recognizes the rookie team that represents FIRST values, such as learning, adapting, and having comprehensive administrative and technical development, as well as social projects.

“We were one of the few rookie teams that had complete manuals on engineering, safety, business planning, and inventories. It’s a lot of work, and so much more than just building a robot.”



Tecmilenio Deros won the Rookie All-Star award in its division
Derof, Tecmilenio


The Derof team was recognized with the Excellence in Engineering Award for the design of its robot.

“We’re very happy because we believe that (this award) represents the team very well,” said Derof’s team captain, Kendra Guerra.

“We qualified for the world competition thanks to the construction of a robot, but we managed to get there through social impact competitions, which shows that we’re an integrated team, she said.



The Mexican teams in the competition   

The 2022 Mexican delegation was finally represented in person by various teams after two years of the pandemic, with three from PrepaTec, three from Tecmilenio, and five from other schools.

The PrepaTec Cumbres Overture team ranked 29th with six wins and four losses in the Newton Division.

“This achievement was exciting, enjoyable challenging, and another step in accomplishing our goals. We have learned something and gained recognition in each of the four seasons we have participated in so far,” said Verónica López, the team’s head coach.

“It was an honor to represent Mexico and PrepaTec Cumbres. Everyone was sad about the result, but I’m sure they grew and learned from the experience in several ways, and that will stay with them forever,” she said.

WinT was another Tecmilenio team that competed in the Hopper division, with two wins and eight losses, ranking 68th.

The Mexican teams taking part were Desert Eagles, from Conalep Torreón; UANL Tigers; Cerbotics, from the Cervantes School in Torreón; Peñoles TCAT, from the American School of Torreón; and Aztech Robotics, from Mexico City.

The Tigres team was a finalist for the Chairman’s Award, which rewards social projects.



An opportunity to promote competitions

Eric Pascual, Vice President of PrepaTec and Regional Development, said that his students’ performance was impressive, and these competitions help them develop the skills they are looking for.

“PrepaTec offers the opportunity to be part of international teams. It gives them more opportunity to develop their skills.”

Being part of the FIRST community inspires young people to study abroad, said Pascual.

“More than 150 universities offer scholarships abroad. This opens minds, inspires, and gives the students the opportunity to think about the dreams that they can achieve.”

In general, Pascual said that the objectives had been met, such as being part of and competing in an international tournament.

“The teams performed really well, and the young people got a great experience out of it. PrepaTec did very well. We’re going to the world competition again next year.”


“The teams performed really well, and the young people got a great experience out of it. PrepaTec did very well. We’re going to the world competition again next year.”


FIRST Robotics Competition

FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a robotics tournament conceptualized as an aspirational sport to engage children and young people.

FIRST was founded by Dean Kamen, a well-known inventor and entrepreneur, who created the Segway, the upright two-wheeled vehicle.

“We’re back,” were Kamen’s words to the audience, in a speech he gave before the closing ceremony of a competition for young people aged between 14 and 18.

FIRST Robotics Competition is North America’s largest robotics competition for 14 to 18-year-olds and one of the largest in the world. It marks the culmination of the regional tournament season.

About 35,000 people attended the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, from April 20-23, Kamen said.

Teams managed to advance to the world competition by winning a regional tournament as an alliance or by winning one of the special prizes.

PrepaTec and Tecmilenio aim to promote skills development in young people through FIRST.

On January 8, the competition was officially launched internationally, unveiling this year’s challenge of Rapid React to address transportation issues.

This year, two alliances were created: blue and red, made up of three random teams. Each robot must operate autonomously to launch balls at certain targets to score points within a limited time.

The robots then have to climb a series of towers, and the higher they get, the more points they get for their alliance. The one with the most points wins the match.

In the world competition, the winners of the six divisions move on to a final stage called Einstein, in which an overall winning alliance is declared.




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