Anthony Wang ’23 was selected from members of more than 7,800 robotics teams to represent Team USA in the 2021 FIRST Global Challenge, an Olympic-style, international robotics competition. Anthony is a member of the Technicbots, a FIRST Tech Challenge team that has garnered national acclaim, competing at FIRST World Championships three times. This year they are also a finalist of the FIRST Global Innovation Award. Together, the 14-person team designed, built, and piloted a robot able to navigate a given path, obtain control of an object, launch an object through the air, and lift weight off the ground. Anthony serves as the team’s Captain and Programming Lead.
“As a member of the team, I’ve spent hundreds of hours training my engineering skills and programming skills in particular, as well as my presentation skills, an essential capability in the FIRST robotics program,” Anthony said. “St. Mark's has prepared me by teaching me how to be a leader and take initiative. I also appreciate the outstanding math curriculum, as some of the advanced math I’ve learned, has been applied to autonomous navigation of robots.”
This year's FIRST Global Challenge is being held virtually, with more than 120 international teams completing a series of challenges that are released over the course of three months. In addition to bolstering STEM skills, the competition also fosters understanding and cooperation among youth worldwide as they use their abilities to solve problems with global impact. As part of the FIRST Global Challenge, Anthony and Team USA are designing and building a floating robot that identifies and collects plastic waste from lakes and oceans. He uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to identify the plastic trash and control autonomous navigation for the robot. They will also build a small satellite and launch it into the stratosphere for environmental monitoring and research.
“Anthony first started his robotics journey building simple mechanisms using LEGO blocks,” said Jean Chen, Anthony’s mother. Anthony has developed and honed his robotic skills for over 10 years, earning accolades along the way, such as being named a three-time Inspire Award winner.
“I hope that my recognition shows the Marksman community that we can do things we may not have thought possible before, simply by devoting ourselves to our passion,” Anthony said. “I hope my fellow Marksmen can be inspired to discover a goal to strive towards and excel at.”