Robotics Team – SMHS’s Best Kept Secret?

Sandwiched between the Big Gym and the Career Center, all throughout six weeks in Jan/Feb, one can hear the whirls of electric saws, the sharp clatter of metal on wood, the clicks of keyboards, the sounds of “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell”, and, at the same time, the laughter from random side conversations; just another day in the life of SMHS’s Titanium Robotics Team 1160, innovators of the future.

Each year, students (Freshmen thru Seniors) interested in building and creating, science and engineering, and good times, unite to turn raw scrap and wire into a moving, working, (almost) breathing robot. We then pit our creation against hundreds of other schools’ robots in a complex game, a “battle of the minds”. This year: Ultimate Ascent, a challenging competition that combined the best of ultimate Frisbee and rock-climbing, ending with Team 1160’s robot successfully perched 7ft above the ground on a steel pyramid.

The only man capable of designing such a program would be none other than Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway and founder of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). See below for more information on the international organization.

San Marino’s team was started by Dr. Jeng Yen ten years ago, and is currently mentored by physics teacher, Mr. Scott Barton. Titanium Robotics provides students the opportunity to learn real-world applications of mechanical and programming concepts, in a real organization.  Our teams and robots have traveled to San Diego, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles competitions.  We also have toured colleges including Caltech and presented at Boeing headquarters and local science fairs. Our alumni have been accepted to colleges like Caltech, UCLA, and Harvey Mudd. Titanium Robotics is the starting line for the next generation of successful & innovative people, from scientists and engineers to business owners and executives.

Want to know more or inquire about joining? Don’t be shy. Email us at or visit our website at

For more information on FIRST, visit


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