ViperBots kick off new year


ViperBots 6210 Stryke works on robot prototypes.

Madeline Smyser, Staff Reporter

The Robotics Team, better known as ViperBots, had their first official day this past Monday. This year, seven teams will compete in the robotics competitions in hopes of advancing to the FTC Robotics World Championships.

Irad Allen, one of the ViperBots sponsors, said that teams are already fired up and ready to go.

Six of the teams are veterans, all of which previously competed at the World Championships. The seventh, a new team, has been welcomed into the program with open arms.  

“We’re getting them ramped up so they can have a really good season,” Allen said.

Since the beginning of the school year, the ViperBots have been busy preparing for the upcoming season.

“We’ve had workshops in software, hardware and CAD (Computer Aided Design),” Allen said. “Right now we’ve been ramping everything up to get the skills so we’re ready to get moving.”

On Monday, students put their newly learned skills to work.

“On our hardware team, we’re doing some basic prototyping for robots, making a drive train, figuring out some basic mechanisms that we assumed might be in the game,” junior Isabelle Moring, member of team 6210 ViperBots Stryke, said.

Interestingly, the actual robots are only one portion of the team’s responsibilities. “Mini-groups” inside the teams deal with things like software and marketing to teeshirt designs and community outreach.

“Our software lead and APM were doing a programming panel at kick off to help rookie teams learn how to program their robots,” Moring said.

Last year, ViperBots left a high bar. ViperBots QuadX (6299) placed third at the FTC Robotics World Championships and ViperBots Stryke (6210) placed 15th the year before. This year’s teams are ready to accept the challenge.

“If we try really hard, work really hard, put our minds to it, and do really well, I think we have a chance at moving on to World’s,” sophomore Stefano Bonilla of team 11503 said.