Robotics’ Season Well Underway

This year, the school’s robotics team, team 114 in the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics league, has bright prospects for its annual robot.

The robot-building challenge, which is called the Aerial Assist and hosted by FIRST, is to construct a robot that can pick up a two foot diameter yoga ball and shoot the ball into a tall rectangular goal.

“We’ve already decided [on the robot design],” co-captain and senior Royce Chung said, “It’s a robot that picks up the yoga ball with these rollers, and it has this spring loaded puncher that shoots the yoga ball into the goal, and it can also pass it to other robots and it can shoot backwards potentially.”

The build season, or the 6.5 week time frame that the team has to build the robot, started on January 4. So far, the team has had a very promising start.

“The build season has been going very well,” Royce said. “We are on schedule, maybe slightly ahead. We’re making good progress, we’re doing better than last year. A lot of people are coming and everyone’s doing work and everyone’s motivated.”

The team’s competitions start on March 13-15, in UC Davis. The biggest competition of the year, the Silicon Valley Regionals (SVR), will be held at San Jose State University from April 4-6.

This year’s robot, according to co-captains senior Royce Chung and junior Toby Macaluso, has not only had a solid start, but also seems to be stronger and better than last year’s robot. The biggest reason for the improvement is the amount of motivation and concentration the team members have this year.

“We spent a lot of time thinking about every single aspect and how it would work together, so everything’s going to work together really well this year,” Royce said. “We’re making good progress. There’s always people in the machine room making parts, and we’ve got people assembling, people doing bumpers.”

With the build season almost halfway over, the robotics team is busy completing this year’s robot. Considering the budding potential of this year’s robot, the robotics team is aiming to perform even better than last year’s impressive finish.