My Robotics Experience(s)

It’s been a little while since I have posted a blog post but I figured it was a good time to mention that I also have experience in robotics and I thought that it would be an interesting topic to add to my blog.

The main reason this is connected to this blog is that recently I’ve been coding mostly on my robot in high school which is pretty interesting. It also requires some technical knowledge as you need to understand the parts of the robot that you are coding otherwise you will likely not code correctly. Which requires more technical or “mechanical” knowledge. Because the team is split into 2 main sub-teams which are the mechanical team that focuses on building the physical robot and the coding team that codes the robot.

This was quite an experience as I had to learn a new but familiar language, Java. Now don’t be fooled by the similarity in the names of Javascript and Java as they are 2 different languages. However, Javascript is what I have been learning in my AP Computer Science Principles class. It has a similar syntax to Java however Java is considerably more complicated. This complication also leads to an increase in complexity. But this also means that the code is more useful.

Now you are probably wondering what brought me to this team and how I decided I wanted to start with coding which is arguably the harder out of the 2 teams. Well it really all snowballed from when I joined the lego robotics team at my elementary school in 3rd grade. I did well in my tryouts and became the captain of one of the 3 teams by 4th grade. After this, we did well in our regional competition. The next year we qualified for state championships where we won a judges award.

This frankly boosted my confidence and I decided that I 100% wanted to try out for the middle school team and sure enough, I made the team. In 6th grade, we won a project award in regionals and another judge award in states. In 7th grade, we finally began with metal robots in the form of VEX robots. These robots are pretty complicated and quite a lot larger than the ones I had used up until that point. I was captain of my team once again and we worked on our robot. We had some disagreements but figured them out by the time regionals came around. Unfortunately, we never made it to states because of COVID.

This was devastating for me as this was going to be my first taste of a real robotics competition but I sadly never got it. During almost 2 years in lockdown, I didn’t do any robotics and I was also suddenly in 9th grade. Our robotics program was still delayed at the high school because of COVID and lax leadership. Eventually, we got on our feet in late December of 2021 when most teams had already started months before. But we did our best to prepare for the competition. Which was last weekend. It went pretty well we placed top 12 out of 50 in the finals tournament and 16th overall. We will be going to LA for our next competition but we still have a long way to go.

There are about 50 members on the team from grades 9-12. The unique thing about our team, Beach Cities Robotics, also known as team 294. Because it is a team with students from both Mira Costa High school & Redondo Union Highschool. Who have been rivals for years in everything from sports to school spirit. Somehow we were able to create a great cohesive team that has won 2 world championships and is still going strong years later.

I hope you enjoyed this different blog, I will be uploading more robotics content in the days to come. But have a good rest of your day see you next time!