So recently I had the pleasure of speaking to one of the members of our robotics team. His name is Erik and I asked him just a few questions about what the team does. Below you will find the questions (I asked him listed in a “Q and A” format to make finding the questions easier):


Q: What is the robotics team up to now?

A: Right now the Red Team (there is also a White as well as a Black team) is finalizing a design for their next competition. The competition requires their robot to throw wiffle balls and exercise balls into a giant hoop (like in basketball), but can also push some of the wiffle balls into a goal (located in the corner of the arena), the game is called “Velocity Vortex”. They are basing their design to replicate football launchers (the ones with the 2 wheels on top). Once finished, the robot will be ready for their next competition.


Q: What platforms/materials do you use to make the robots?

A: They purchase their parts from FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics, which creates custom parts that allow the teams to create their robots. However, these parts can be pricey, but more on that later. They also use Javascript to program the robots instead of VEX like the engineering classes at the school.


Q: How do you acquire the funds to purchase these parts?

A: They go out and find local businesses (and sometimes, large businesses) to sponsor the teams. For example, this year they are sponsored by KEM, which generously donated $10,000 to support the teams. In the past, they have been sponsored by companies such as Seagate and Valleyfair, and last year they even received a sponsorship from NASA!


Q: How does someone go about joining?

A: There are many other roles you can do on the team besides building the robot, for example, there are roles for helping with promoting the team. Unfortunately, if you are looking to join, you are likely going to have to wait until next year. If you do join, you are expected to make it to every meeting the club has, and they do this after school. But if you are interested nonetheless, you can speak to Sean Hildebrand (Secondary High Potential Specialist) or Todd Anderson (The Woods/ Welding teacher).


For any additional questions, don’t be shy! There are a lot of people on the robotics teams, so feel free to ask them any questions about the team, or ask one of the coaches (Hildebrand and Anderson).


Thank you for reading!