Error Code Xero gets Charged Up


Katelyn LeBlanc

Over 80 students – between Error Code Xero and To Be Determined – gather in the WVHS cafeteria to discuss the new game’s rules.

The first Saturday of the year, team Error Code Xero got up early and made their way to the school cafe and cafeteria by 8:30AM, excited for what’s called “kickoff,” an annual event during which teams across the world learn this year’s new robotics game. 

The Wilsonville High School cafeteria was packed with students, mentors, and a few alumni, who were still on winter break from college. Junior Taylie Smith, Error Code Xero’s Safety Lead, said, “I’m really excited for kickoff because, as a lead, I get to help lead a group through kickoff!” 

This year, the West Linn robotics team To Be Determined joined Error Code Xero for kickoff. “I can’t wait for the new game to be released and to learn about it with my fellow leads, team, and our friends at West Linn,” Smith said a day before the game release.

As every year goes, the seasoned robotics students joked about a water game and new students chatted about their favorite parts of robotics until the livestream from Ohio connected on Twitch. 

As the livestream ran, students and mentors unanimously sighed as advertisements ran, and clapped enthusiastically as the game release video ran across the projected screen. By 10:00AM, the rules which described the 2023 game Charged Up in detail were released, and students split into groups to pore over each and every word. 

Students watch presentations about how the game works: the presenters had an hour to read the manual and present the most important details!
Students watch group presentations about how the game works: the student presenters had an hour to read the game manual and present the most important details from their assigned section! (Katelyn LeBlanc)

“This year is very interesting because of the use of cones, a complex game element, and the unique collaboration associated with the game,” said sophomore Aasha Patel, Error Code Xero’s Design Lead. 

Sophomore Sam Faveluke mentioned that “there is also the issue of balancing the robot.” This year, there’s a balancing platform that robots may climb onto during the match.

“I’m excited to be able to design a small system in-depth compared to last year where the game required the big picture,” said Patel, with a design-scheming smile already growing.

Many teams’ robots–built from scratch by high school students–would be playing in merely 8 weeks. Some students are nervous, some are confident, and others are in between. 

Sophomore Lily Vu, Error Code Xero’s Electrical Lead, said, “Leading the electrical subteam into the 2023 competitive season will be a new experience for me.” She is “absolutely electrified for the entire competition in general!”

Faveluke, who is on Vu’s Electrical Subteam, said that “so far Lily has been a great lead” over the summer and is super prepared going into her “first [competitive] season as a lead.” Only his second year on Error Code Xero, Faveluke has found numerous places to channel his electrical knowledge, and taught him “to use electrical skills in a way that I might need in a future career.”

Kickoff ended at 4:00PM on Saturday, with some students staying later to eagerly discuss strategies to win the game. The following week, the team met for a total of 20 hours to discuss game plans and various robot design ideas.

All the students agreed with Patel that kickoff “was an awesome experience!” After many years of COVID, Smith is looking forward to “connecting with the team” more. It’s surely going to be a busy season, but it’s also guaranteed to be a fun season!

There is no doubt this game will be Charged Up! Cheer for Error Code Xero during their home game from March 10th to March 12th, 2023 in the Wilsonville HS gymnasium.