By Tomas Palmieri
The Robodox team has recently participated in two offseason competitions, Tidal Tumble and Beach Blitz. In Tidal Tumble, the team won first place among 16 other teams, while also being in the top seed group of three.
This win motivated the team to further improve their bot, Phoebe the Phithisologist, over the next couple of weeks. The Robodox did not make it past quarterfinals in the more competitive tournament Beach Blitz, but they noticed their individual performance improved drastically since the last tournament.
With their performances at the two offseason competitions, the Robodox also noted many challenges. The robot being used for this competition was built before the pandemic, meaning that the new members of the Robodox team had to get used to working with this specific bot. This disconnect in knowledge coupled with the incomplete robot led to a major challenge the team had to overcome in order to even compete in the competition.
Robodox also had many new members with different kinds of knowledge, which posed a significant challenge during the tournament since they may not all have been on the same page when developing and engineering their bot. Despite these challenges, the team still managed to be victorious in the tournament, all while learning more about the robot and their strengths as a team.
“Our main strength this year would definitely be passion. Everyone is willing to put in the effort and work hard since no one really got the robotics experience due to the pandemic. We all really craved to be back and hands-on with the robots,” Robodox president and senior Nick Zhao said.
This year’s Robodox team is very keen on team bonding since they can finally be back physically, all collaborating together. This team is many members’ “home away from home” due to the reassurance and acceptance commonly found within the community.
All members are united by their passion for robotics, truly uniting them as a team.
Due to students’ interest and even curiosity when it comes to engineering, many have found themselves on the Robodox team.
“Engineering has always been a major part of my life. Originally I was fascinated by computer science, especially when you use the search engine and see how millions of results pop up in such a short amount of time,” Zhao said. “Robotics gave me the opportunity to understand and apply engineering. Since we can make the robot move and do certain tasks, I believe robotics can be the way humanity moves forward as a whole and increases quality of life.”
The robotics season starts this month, and the Robodox team is using many strategies to prepare. During their last tournament, everything they engineered with their robot worked, so the team has a good baseline to work from going into this next season.
Senior veterans of the Robodox team are passing down their knowledge of robotics as well as initiative and task management to the rookie members of the team. Recently, the Robodox team adopted a website called “Trello,” which allows them to keep track of each member’s job and keep everyone on track.
The Robodox team has offered the team opportunities they may not have had otherwise to use engineering in a physical setting, truly broadening many students’ horizons in the realm of engineering.