If you want to explore mechanics, engineering, programming, electronics, team management, or discover where your passion for robotics lies as a part of the largest association of Central High School, then the RoboLancers team is for you! As evidenced by the overwhelming success of this year’s RoboLancers induction, this 2021 season has kicked off as possibly the greatest robotics experience at Central High School! Doubtful? Why not ask the nearly 100 students of various backgrounds and grade levels who have found their spot in RoboLancers, fresh from Bootcamp!
The RoboLancers Boot Camp – now thankfully in person – gave all students interested in robotics a taste in the many subgroups of RoboLancers and their work within the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) and FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) seasons. But firstly, all students were taught proper safety procedures regarding using any equipment related to RoboLancers work and especially how to safely use the professional machinery in Central’s very own workplace. Afterward, new students were introduced to the three main aspects of RoboLancers: Mechanical, Programming, and Business.
Ramp Riot was a learning experience for everyone. It was a great way to scout the other teams and improve our game strategy. Our drivers had a difficult time adjusting to the stressful environment, but with the help of our mentors and coaches they learned the ins and outs and performed well. Being a human player was a great way for me to participate in the matches and understand the rules of the game. Working with an alliance was a challenging experience, and although it hurt us in the end, it was a positive experience that taught to recognize the intentions of others.
Ramp Riot was great and overall much more fun than I expected, and I do not regret going at all. The energy of the matches was great, and we all cheered for our robot no matter what happened, good or bad. We even got to finals, with the hooting, hollering, and screaming clapping madness, and there was an atmosphere unlike any other sports game I’ve ever been to. Ramp Riot was everything I could have wished for in my first FRC event!
Duel on the Delaware was the first FRC off-season event I went to as a new robotics member. My main job of that day was to take videos and pictures of our robot alongside my friend Julie. During the practice matches, I got familiar with working the camera and started exploring the pit and meeting new teams. Our robot didn’t play until a few matches in, but watching the other teams play was a fascinating start. Once our team started, I took pictures of our drive team and immediately started moving around in the pit attempting to get some good footage. I also got to sit in watching a mock Chairman’s presentation, which was interesting because of how the presenters were able to memorize all of the team’s information. Unfortunately, our robot wasn’t functioning well at first due to technical problems, but after lunch, our robot was all fixed up and ready to play. We didn’t win, but we got to experience working with different teams. Overall, the competition was an interesting event. I learned how to properly use a camera, hung out with my members, and expanded my interest in robotics.
The Safety Bootcamp class teaches you how to handle tools while operating in the workshop. The class begins with the usual debriefing, informing us as to who has permission to use a certain tool and who does not. We were then warned about the dangers of not correctly using the tools. Then, the actual hands-on work happens. We learn about some of the important and different tools and supplies we may need to build the robot, such as the band-saw that cuts the metal, polycarbonate and the drills which we utilize to bore into the bones of the robot. Learning about the tools and the different supplies may be very appealing to those who are interested in hands-on activities.
On the other hand, if you love creating things with your hands or want to bring your ideas to life, then electrical or mechanical is the subgroup for you. These subgroups bring their ideas to life, in the physical form. Maybe it’s the hands-on experience, or the opportunity to bring your ideas to life, or even just the group of creative people who you join. No matter what reason it is, it can’t be done without the safety class. This class allows you to bring your idea to life with the minimal amount of risk of harming yourself. Without the Safety Class, many of the most creative people, specializing in bringing their ideas into the physical form, may be harmed and may possibly be discouraged into following their passion.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.