Humans behind the robot


Aditi Bhaskar

Error Code Xero’s driveteam and their alliance teams are set up for a final playoff match to determine the winner of the event! Numerous teams cheer from the stands.

Robotics competitions are great fun– whether you’re on the drive team, pit-crew, scouting, or simply spectating. But what does robotics team 1425 do during the competition if they already have their robot built? There’s a lot more to do than can be imagined.

The pit is where the robot comes back after every match to get checked and repaired. Students with various technical expertises work together in the pit to accomplish this.

Sophomore Aasha Patel, design lead and mechanical representative in the pit, was “very proud of how the robot performed.” Patel had to replace parts on the robot when they broke under short time intervals with help from other students, but the team stayed calm under stress.

Freshman Annika Martin, another mechanical representative in the pit, liked that the competition was “fun, definitely challenging, and quite entertaining. It was cool to see” how all the different teams worked together. For many freshmen, their first competitions are immense impressions of just how big the robotics community is.

Freshman Elie Katz, electrical student and battery czaritza during the competition, was “nervous but also excited because it’s my first year so I don’t really know what to expect.” 

However, Katz felt like the team was in a “pretty good position and were going to do well.” Katz’s role during the competition is to replace the robot’s battery between matches– a tricker job than it seems. All the students in the pit crew worked together well to ensure their robot, Electron, ran smoothly for every match.

Patel says, “We did a lot of different things in terms of design and software this year, and it was very exciting to put that into practice.” The competition was definitely thrilling for everyone in the pits– but what did everyone else do? Besides bring on pit crew, students can also set up and drive the robot during matches. They’re called the drive team. 

Freshman Cayden Whisman, drive team technician, is “most excited to see all the little bits and pieces come together for a good, competitive robot.” He is in charge of setting up the robot on the field before a match starts.

At competitions, there are also numerous roles unrelated to the robot’s technical aspects. Team branding is a big part of competitions. 1425 wants to stand out in the crowd of teams.

Senior Katelyn LeBlanc, business lead, is “most excited to see our teams’ new branding and gear, and see how we look altogether!” The business subteam has created a new logo this year, and is working hard to promote it for our team’s twentieth anniversary. In addition they “have made buttons, stickers, and flyers to hand out at the competition,” which detail this year’s game and our team.

Junior Taylie Smith, the safety lead, showed great team spirit by holding up the team flag right before each of 1425’s matches. Team spirit and cheering is a big part of FIRST Robotics, and everyone in the stands definitely contributed to the positive, optimistic, supportive culture of the team.

There are a lot of moving parts and lots of people who need to work together for a successful competition. 

“Considering it’s our home turf,” says Patel, “it was very nice to see that we won, and see all the other teams. We’re all looking forward to the next competitions.”