Viperbots Need Funds

Denise Bui, Web Editor

With the robotics team preparing for their competition season, one main problem stands in their way: raising enough funds for all five teams to compete. They are about $12,000 short for the 2012-2013 season.

“We have applied for many grants,” adviser Galen Goodreau said. “We’re still continuing efforts.”

Last year, the robotics team spent about $7000 on one robotics team to compete in the First Tech Challenge.  This did not include the $10,000 that they had to raise for their trip to St. Louis to compete in the World Championships.  Most of this cost was spent on startup expenses for purchasing base robot kits, resources kits, additional parts, tools and custom fabrication of materials. In addition, each team must pay entry and registration fees for the season.

This year, they have startup costs for the five new teams.  They are focusing purely on hardware, software and materials, registration fees and entry fees.  They are charging participants a small participation fee and requiring all members to fund 100 percent of their travel costs.  Through various grants, donations and support, they have already raised and spent about $11,000. Most of the money spent on startup costs is used for materials that can be continued to be used in future years.

“We are running out of money because we’re splitting all funds five ways,” senior team manager Hannah von Oldenburg said. “We need more fundraising.”

The Viperbots still need another $12,000 for entry fees, robot parts, sensors, and shop tools. Along with these monetary donations, the Viperbots are looking for volunteers to act as mentors in software engineering, hardware, marketing, and more. All expertise is welcome.

The first robotics competition is December 1 in San Antonio.

“I’m pumped because we are going to crush the competition, but in a sportsmanship-type way,” senior mobile application developer Natasha Desai said.

The Viperbot Facebook page is The Viperbots website is For more information and ways to donate, contact robotics team adviser Rad Allen at [email protected] .