Business Blog Post

Have you ever felt so passionately about something you want to do? Do you want to participate in that ¨something¨ so bad but you can´t? That’s exactly why we decided to join business! We felt more comfortable and interested in business, since we already knew we wanted to join it the first place. We mainly talked about what the team does; learning  that business focuses on communication and finances for the team, which is extremely crucial.

As expected, we both joined business after bootcamp. Although we are not familiar with each other yet, the upperclassmen seem nice. We are already sure that it was not a mistake to join business. Why should you join business? Well, we just told you, didn’t we? But there are obviously more reasons as to why you should join business. If you are interested, you should find out for yourself!

-Helen Chen and Eric Li

FTC Boot Camp

The First Tech Challenge (FTC) boot camp was an interesting experience, featuring moments both entertaining and informational. We had two teachers, both experienced members of the team in their own right. They were funny, often engaging in joking arguments with each other or the students. They were able to make a potentially boring subject interesting, which made it a very enjoyable experience that promised a lot for the robotics season.

We went over the FIRST acronym, learning its meaning “For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology”. Next, we learned what the team expected of us, and how to uphold those expectations. Then, we discussed this year’s FTC game, Rover Ruckus. We went over the rules, awards, and some strategies to think over. Lastly, we discussed the Engineering Notebook, an integral part of any FTC robotics team. Overall, the FTC boot camp session was a promising experience that set an inspirational tone for the rest of the FTC season.

-Finn Brenner

Programming Boot Camp

During our introduction to robotics, we were exposed to the fundamentals of programming. We learned the structure of Java (the programming language we use to code the robot) in this class. Our teachers were very social and fun to work with. We had to “program” Ramon (giving him commands in the form of code) to grab a marker and draw something on the board. The teachers’ personalities made the programming subgroup quite interesting. We did dreadful icebreakers but they made everyone feel cool; I heard about Six Flags, and all the other famous trips the Robolancers take; everybody seemed like they were chill and fun to work with.  

If you aren’t sure that you want to join programming, you should at least consider it, especially if you like mentoring and working with others who share common interests. If you like programming and teaching people new things, JOIN, JOIN, JOIN! You have the chance to meet new people and make new friends! Most importantly, you learn how to program, which could really help you in the long run.

Cyanni Wattley and Teagan Clark

States

While taking part in this amazing competition full of vitalized and confident teams, I was able to experience the thrill of competing. The states event was extremely enjoyable. Not only did I get the chance to meet other teams that were inspiring to see, I also was able to meet different people with a variety of creative and interesting views on their designs and problem-solving. The time I spent at states was genuinely fun. I saw people’s determination and excitement in building their robot, took part in the games, and met new a diversified group of people. Overall, the states event was an enjoyable time, and I hope to continue that excitement in thrill throughout my time in robotics.

My Experience at States

I’m a FTC Gold member, and although we didn’t win, I enjoyed my experience at States. The robots there were amazing and I don’t think any of us are ashamed that we lost to such smooth and practiced teams. It even encouraged us to build a new robot; inspired by many of those we saw at States. There was a sense of community, not just among the RoboLancers teams, but all Philadelphia teams, as Girls High, Palumbo, and Central all cheered each other on. This was the first time we saw the semifinals and finals from an outsider’s perspective, not as someone competing, and it made the experience a lot more fun. We are all so proud of the judges award we won, and I think everyone had a good time.

Experiences at Hat Tricks

I was astonished by the number of robots there were and the amount of work other teams put into their robots. I felt very good at the robot’s ability to press the beacons. In fact, on the drive team I felt proud of the accomplishments we made as well as the failures that happened. Whenever failure came upon us, I would always look up to the the rest of the team cheering us on. It felt the best when in mid-game, our robot randomly lost a wheel. I was very worried, but when the robot was still working and the crowd was still cheering, I gained an aura of confidence.

I learned a lot while driving the robot. Even though our robot wasn’t as agile or able as some other robots, our robot was still a great accomplishment. Though our robot didn’t work as planned (able to shoot) we still contributed every game, including cheering on our allies as well as pressing beacons. Though some allied teams decided to disregard our need for help, we still tried to help as much as possible. In between every game, the team always tried to add better parts, fix any problems, and plan on any next changes.

Though our robot was placed last in the competition, I still have confidence that we will be considered one of the most able and agile after some changes. This competition was simply a test to see how our robot functions and any changes that must take place after the competition.  Unfortunately, during the competition, our robot wasn’t able to shoot. We could press beacons as well as lift the cap ball, but was apparently not good enough. I strive for the qualities our robot may need. Once we meet those goals, we would contribute a lot more during the Tournaments. All in all, I am very proud of the robot.

My experiences with the Business team of the RoboLancers

At the end of Boot Camp, I chose to join the Business team because of the great experience I had with Business section of the Boot Camp. In the first week, I was awkward because I didn’t know anyone. We were given a task to develop a theme for the RoboLancers based on the topic of the FRC game this year. Throughout the process of making up a theme, I became familiar with the history of the Robolancers and the people in the team. We worked hard with each other to develop a theme and prepare for the presentation. Even though only three of us were there on the day of the presentation, I learned a lot and had a lot of fun.

In the Business team, we also had to do public speaking. I was shocked when I heard that we had to stand in front of the team and talked about a topic for 5 minutes. I was really bad at public speaking and I was really scared to talk in front of a large group of people. However, I tried my best and learned my mistakes.

Overall, I am having a great time in Business and I am learning a lot.

Thoughts on the Robolancers

The first time I have ever seen the Robolancers was at a robotics convention, where they seemed to be doing a competition. Ever since then, I was curious if I should join the team, since I knew I was going to Central High School. The previous year I had joined the robotics team of my grade school, and it was an amazing experience. But now that I’m a member of the Robolancers, it trumps my previous experiences on a robotics team.

Currently, I am in the business division of the team, and the experience has been awesome. It was really interesting to see something more complex than just: “Here’s the parts, now build a robot”. I feel as if the Robolancers will help me open more doors for my future.

RoboLancers Boot Camp

When I first heard about Robotics from my friend, Frank Yang, I was a little hesitant due to me joining a little late. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it or had the time for it. However, Frank told me to come after school on Friday and join up. So on Friday, I went to Mr. Johnson and “signed up”. That was when I was put into the Carver group.

Upon entering, I was immediately told to report to my room. As I entered, I was of course going to be awkward due to not knowing anyone. With Diego (and others) as a teacher, we learned about the game/ the notebook. Over the course of class, I became more familiar and did some activities, such as seeing the consequences of a 5-minute notebook.

After Notebook class, came Mechanical class. The teachers this time were Vincent and Johnny. After some PowerPoints, we delved right into learning the essentials of building the robot. We learned about the chassis and the basics of the motor, as well as the very basics of the electrical group. Although I like the previous class, this was a little more preferred.

Next up was the Programming class. This was the first class that assigned homework ,I wasn’t happy about it, but I was grateful. The class proved to be very challenging unless you already knew some things. It was the hardest of the classes.

Last but not least, was the Business class. By far my favorite, in the business class we learned of what to do in order to support the club. After a great powerpoint by the teachers, we learned of pictures, and how to ask for grants. We even learned how to dance, kind of.

In the end, I’m glad I was in this because it helped me in the division that I picked. It was overall a good experience.       

FIRST World Championship 2016

For the second year in a row, the RoboLancers traveled to St. Louis to compete at the FIRST World Championship. We had won the Chairman’s Award, the most prestigious award in FIRST, during MAR. It was a dream come true for us to attend Worlds once again.

Winning brought back many memories from last year. Some of those weren’t pretty (16+ hour long bus ride), but it didn’t tone down our excitement. Even though I was excited to go, I was more excited in showing and explaining to the younger members what the event would be like. I told them how great this competition was, how great the teams are from around the world, and the cool gadgets that companies would bring along to showcase. It was to show them the wonderful event they were going to be part of.

Worlds was just like last year: a big arena filled with nerds from all over the world. The stadium was filled with FIRST stuff such a shop for FIRST gear, cardboard cutouts of Dean Kamen, Woodie Flowers, and Don Bossi; and Team 4525’s giant cardboard robot. Roaming around the arena was fun because there mascots also that walked about. I took so many pictures of them that one of my teammates, Henry Dang, started complaining. Whoops.

Mascots weren’t the only things I took pictures with. While walking, I saw out of the corner of my eye someone familiar. I actually yanked Henry back once I recognized who the person was. It was Woodie Flowers. For the second year in a row, Henry and I got to meet Woodie Flowers and get his autograph. We even got to take a picture with him. 

ddd

For the matches we were in the Curie Division. We started off with a 124-66 victory in our first match. Then we moved up to 5th place with a score of 121-105 in our second match. Throughout the day we had a mixture of wins and losses. Sadly, we weren’t picked during the alliance selection but we gave shout outs to teams 1089 and 25 for representing FIRST Mid-Atlantic teams on the Curie Division as alliance captains. We ended the event in rank 30 (much better than last year’s rank 54) with a record of 5-5-0.

Other than the competition, the team got to do numerous activities such as attending the Innovation Faire, visiting the Gateway Arch, playing at the hotel’s arcade, and spending the night at Six Flags. Just bonding with friends and doing activities that weren’t robotics was a nice feeling.

Our time for the rest of the school year is running short. Our seniors will be graduating in June, and I can already tell there’s going to be tears during the RoboLancer’s senior send off. (There was so much crying last year). Worlds gave us an opportunity to grow closer as a family. 

This was our third time going to Worlds. Whether or not we go next year, we’ll continue to do our best and continue to spread STEM throughout the city of Philadelphia.