Robotics Team Ready To Compete

Robotics Team Ready To Compete
Posted on 03/01/2022


The Royal Oak Robotics are prepping for qualification events this month and hopefully, an appearance in the FRC World Championship event in April. Their season officially began in January with the start of a 6-week build leading to 9 weeks of competition. During the build, the team designed, fabricated, and programmed a 125 lb. robot.

Over 20 students participate in the robotics program, including 8th graders to seniors at Royal Oak High School. The students work on their robot at the middle school with 3 coaches - Chris Mounts, a director at an engineering company, Cameron Beatty, a professional programmer, and Michael Holden, a Principal Cybersecurity Architect. Royal Oak Robotics is officially a club at the high school, considered by the coaches "the most award-winning team in Royal Oak history." The student leaders will put in over 100 hours each to get the robot done.

They compete in FIRST FRC which is a non-profit organization that runs the leagues. "FIRST is broken down into regions," said Coach Mounts. "The Michigan region is considered the most competitive in the world."

The students prepare for competition by building two identical robots and taking the best one to the event. But before that happens, there are weeks of training on understanding past matches and discussions on what was a successful robot design. "Once the game gets announced the strategy sub-team will have a number of meetings to produce a list of exactly what the robot must do to win. This might be something like - the robot must use vision targeting to score 4 balls in less than 2 seconds. Then the CAD/Design team will take this list and start designing parts of the robot to meet the requirements," Mounts said.

Then the students are divided into sub-teams led by a mentor to work on programming and design/fabrication. Students are assigned tasks based on one part of the robot. Mounts explained that for example, someone in programing may be assigned to develop the vision tracking code and someone on the design/fabrication team might be assigned to design the climbing mechanism. "They will follow those tasks through to completion on the functioning robot," he said.

You might wonder what happens to a robot after a competition? Well, these bots can cost more than $10,000 so they eventually give up their key components to be reused and re-purposed into next year's robot.

Mark your calendar to check them out at: FIM District events at Livonia Churchill High School: March 17 - 19, and at Lakeview High School March 31 - April 2. And hopefully at the state championship in Saginaw April 13 - April 16. "We are a highly competitive team that expects to rank high in the most difficult region. This means that we all commit a lot of energy to build a top-performing robot," added Mounts.

For more information, email: [email protected].

Students Working on Robotics 1
Students Working on Robotics 2

Students Working on Robotics 3
Students Working on Robotics 4