Build season begins for RoboLobos


Courtesy of Cedar Park Robotics

Lauren Kriss, Editor-In-Chief

The race to build the best robot is on for the robotics team. As of Jan. 3, the team has been working on a robot capable of lifting and stacking boxes in a challenge called “Recycle Rush.” The team’s robot must be completed by midnight on Feb. 17, giving the RoboLobos a six week turn around period.

Because of the time pressure, the team builds for about 14 hours every week, according to senior President David Bonsall.

“Having to go from idea to final product on something so complex in just six weeks is not an easy task,” Bonsall said. “You just kind of have to accept that it will never be perfect and that you just have to do the best with the time you have.”

In agreement with Bonsall, senior Head of Engineering Aaron Evans, who coordinates the design, mechanics, electronics, programming and business departments of the Robolobos, stressed that time management as the most challenging part of build season.

“Finding ways to do things efficiently and minimizing accidents that cause setbacks is very tricky when we have 25 active members,” Evans said. “But making sure that we are meeting our self-set deadlines is essential in order to do well in competition.”

Despite the pressure, Bonsall genuinely enjoys building the robot.

“It is really fun just getting to build it and immensely rewarding when it finally works,” Bonsall said. “Everyone is friends at this point, so a lot of the time it feels like we are just hanging out and having a good time.”

After build season, the team will compete with their final product Mar. 11-15 at the Alamo Regional competition at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX, where they earned the “Rookie All-Star” and “Highest Rookie Seed” awards last year.

“I expect that we will do well at competition and make it to the elimination rounds,” Bonsall said. “We know a lot more about being successful than we did last year and we have a larger budget to purchase the parts we need. In addition, we have more people so, theoretically, we should be able to get more done.”

However, according to Evans, being considered a veteran team this year makes competition more difficult.

“Because it’s our second year doing this competition, we’re now held to higher standards than we were our first year competing,” Evans said. “That being said, we’re definitely more capable this year, and things are looking positive.”

At the Alamo Regional competition, the RoboLobos will also find out if they will have the opportunity to compete at the 2015 FRC Championship in St. Louis, MO on April 22-25.

To find out more about this year’s challenge, watch the game release video: