This year’s team picked up the pieces from last year’s fall from glory. Significant efforts from team leaders led Team 5171 to our most successful finish ever, and they also contributed to the success of our other local teams, like Team 4255 Robodores from Monterey. In fact, our captain was recognized by Team 4255 and awarded for his Gracious Professionalism. A second member of Team 5171 was recognized for their Gracious Professionalism, too! The Pit Admin boss—the person responsible for managing the needs and logistics of all teams—recognized one of our students “for being just so darn nice and making my day at [the Monterey Bay Regional] and [Silicon Valley Regional].” Gracious professionals… there is no better term to describe every member of Team 5171. We achieved something no version of the team had done prior to this year: we made it all the way to the finals of a regional event! (Not to mention it was one of the more competitive regionals in the country.) After finishing qualification matches at Silicon Valley ranked 15th out of 59 teams, we were invited to join Alliance 3 with Team 604 Quixilver from Leland High and Team 972 Iron Claw from Los Gatos; we formed a promising alliance of highly functional and complementary robots, great communicators, and cohesive personalities. Despite losing our first playoff match, we fought our way all the way through the lower bracket and into the finals where our drama-filled and exciting run eventually came to an end. Next year!


Despite having a relatively new, inexperienced team, we climbed ever higher to our most successful year ever. We grew from the challenges we faced at our local Monterey Bay Regional. We met as a team after the competition to develop a strategy that would put us in the best position possible for the highly competitive Silicon Valley Regional (SVR) in San Jose: a balance of mechanical and software additions as well as mechanical and software improvements that needed to be accomplished in the less-than-two-week span that defined our time constraint. We committed ourselves to this ambitious plan, and we reached heights we could never have imagined at SVR, placing 5th among 59 teams and captaining the 3rd-seeded alliance (inviting Team 1072 Harker Robotics and Team 3045 Gear Gremlins to play with us) in the quarterfinals. Our run in the playoffs was ended with a crushing fall from the traversal bar.

2020 - 2021 

Though competitions were canceled and we did not compete in the virtual FRC At Home Challenges during the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, we invested a lot of time meeting virtually to train new members by introducing them to all aspects of robot design and the principles of FIRST. Student leaders created an entire robotics curriculum to engage new members during a year of online learning. 


A more aggressive fundraising campaign meant that we could attend two events this year, the inaugural Monterey Bay Regional (MBR) and the Silicon Valley Regional, which we have attended ever since our founding. For the first time ever Team 5171 made it to the playoffs, serving as captains of Alliance 8 at MBR. Though we didn't have the same success at SVR, the high level of competition at the latter continued to motivate us.


The 2018 season was the first time we got to experience what it means to be a strong player on the field, often carrying our alliance partners and taking on the most complicated tasks in the game. At the end of the 2018 season, we elected a head captain and created an organizational structure with various subteams. This new structure offered experienced students the chance to become teachers as they facilitated the training of new members through peer-to-peer sharing of knowledge.

2016 - 2017

A growing team allows for the creation of what will eventually become subteams, with students interested in computer-aided design (CAD), robot vision, and more. The team consisted of approximately 12 committed students. In 2017, we received the GM Industrial Design Award at the Silicon Valley Regional, one of only two design awards given at arguably the most competitive regional event in the country.


All but two of the founding members graduated and left for college, essentially making this another rookie year for the team. Lead Mentor Jeff Hanna joins York and begins working with the team.


Deus Ex Machina, Team 5171, is founded by a group of York students, the school’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team. Thanks to the mentorship of Team 2035, Robo Rockin' Bots, our team went on to win the Rookie All-Star Award at the Silicon Valley Regional and advanced to the international championship in St. Louis, Missouri.

Our alumni are currently working towards, or have gone on to obtain, science and engineering degrees from places like MIT, Caltech, Brown, Colorado School of Mines, Cornell, USC, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, West Point, Yale, Embry-Riddle, Cal Poly SLO, Northwestern, and University of Chicago. Moreover, Team 5171 alumni continue to pursue hands-on experiences like Gavilan College's Aviation Maintenance Technician program and CalSol, the UC Berkeley solar vehicle team.

We rely on fundraising to sustain the program. Please indicate that your gift is intended for Robotics at York.