For the second year in a row, senior Arthur Murray and junior Aidan Cochran built a world-class robot that qualified for the VEX Robotics World Championship Competition. Their robot, “Happy Little Accidents,” is an homage to the late television painter personality Bob Ross, who often called minor mistakes in his art “happy little accidents” because they would always yield beautiful end results. The Happy Little Accidents team headed to the Alabama State Tournament in late February, where they won both the State Tournament Championship and Robot Skills Champion titles. Either of these wins would have sent them to the World Championship, but they were able to secure both titles to guarantee a spot at Worlds. Unfortunately, due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation, which runs the VEX Robotics competition, canceled the World Championship Competition, which was scheduled to be held in Louisville, KY, from April 22 to April 25.
Happy Little Accidents—which also includes senior Ja’Michael Washington and 8th grader Hunter Dailey—has had an incredibly successful competition year. Prior to their appearance at the Alabama State tournament, the team brought home the Tournament Champion trophy at five different competitions and the Skills Champion trophy twice. Also making an appearance at the State Competition was high school team “Insert Team Name Here,” made up of sophomores Chris Lathram (a VEX Worlds alumni), Andres Lemuz, and Jake Talbot. In the middle school division, two teams competed at the state level: “Last Resort,” comprised of 7th graders Zack Azar, David Huston, Merritt Payne, Will Sasser, and Jackson Wright, and “The Sevies,” made up of 7th graders Ben Chitlik, Antonio Lemuz, Jaden Sigler, and Harrison Vaughn.
While the teams are disappointed that this season has come to an early end, they are all looking forward to the next competition challenge, which will be announced soon by the REC Foundation.