Robotics kicks off build season

A+diagram+of+the+Stronghold+playing+field.+Over+the+years%2C+FIRST+Robotics+competitions+have+evolved+towards+greater+complexity.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Robotics kicks off build season

A diagram of the Stronghold playing field. Over the years, FIRST Robotics competitions have evolved towards greater complexity.

A diagram of the Stronghold playing field. Over the years, FIRST Robotics competitions have evolved towards greater complexity.

A diagram of the Stronghold playing field. Over the years, FIRST Robotics competitions have evolved towards greater complexity.

A diagram of the Stronghold playing field. Over the years, FIRST Robotics competitions have evolved towards greater complexity.

Daniel Lin

It has officially begun. After nearly four months of training and preparations, the robotics team finally began their build season on Saturday. As the team was presented with a prompt, a multitude of voices could be heard in the auditorium while students discussed different strategies and game plans for the competition.

This year’s competition, dubbed Stronghold, is played by two alliances of three teams each. The alliances then attempt to break through their opponents’ barricades and capture their tower. Points are scored by crossing the opponents’ outer works, scoring boulders into goals and surrounding towers.

Room P5 is empty, with traces of food left behind from Robotics members who have gone to the discussion underway in the auditorium.

Room P5 is empty, with traces of food left behind from Robotics members who have gone to the discussion underway in the auditorium.

On Saturday, the robotics team gathered in the auditorium as club officers led discussions about how to proceed with building the robot that would occupy hours on end for the coming months ahead. One of these officers is President Senior Praxis Bays.

“I think a lot of the rookies this year have really good prospects,” Bays said, “our veteran base is very very strong this year, and I’m really looking forward to the season.”

What Bays believes will give the team a stronger edge this year is their experience — MVRT is among the oldest teams in the FIRST League — and their perfected drive train, an essential part of the robot’s movement and agility.

Robotics officers lead a discussion to develop the optimal game plan for this year's competition.

Robotics officers lead a discussion to develop the optimal game plan for this year’s competition.

Director of Engineering Data junior Akhil Palla is not only excited to be kicking off the build season, but looking forward to bonding with his fellow teammates as well.

“It’s a lot of time to bond with teammates every day after school,” Palla said, “solving issues that may come up.”

Palla believes that this year’s members have high potential and is looking forward to what the new team dynamic will yield. He also notes how his experiences over the past few years have accumulated, preparing him for the upcoming competition. This year, Palla has taken a more leadership approach to robotics, performing tasks from documentation to product management.

Robotics team members exchange strategies in small groups in the auditorium.

Robotics team members exchange strategies in small groups in the auditorium.

Director of Electrical Engineering junior Marcus Plutowski is also among the many members on the team excited about the kickoff of the build season. Plutowski is particularly captivated by this year’s challenge in terms of technical ability.

Due to the complexity of this year’s game, there are countless combinations the playing field can be arranged. Because of the highly variable playing field, Plutowski sees the competition as giving plenty of “opportunity,” meaning there is a wide variety of challenges to overcome. As Director of Electrical Engineering, Plutowski can look into new sensors and take on new approaches to the game.

The overall dynamic on the team is one of — for lack of better words — excitement. As the excited chatters fill the auditorium and ideas are exchanged between enthusiastic members, it is obvious that regardless of the outcome of this year’s competition, the spirit is high with the Robotics team.