Robotics Team 5402


We use many things in our lives such as phones and computers. These things have to be handmade right? Wrong. Robotics has played an integral part in our lives even if you don’t realize it. Many things we have in our possession today probably originated from robots. Many companies make their own to mass manufacture consumer products. You know who else has robotics? This school.

We are in the robotics season right now. That means our very own robotics team is hard at work. We have to finish the build for our robot before competitions start or else we will not be able to enter them, or at least do well. We have different sections of our robotics team that accomplish different tasks. We have the Build team, programming team, and the CAD team. The build team focuses on building the bot. Generally people on the other teams help build the bot as well but it is not their primary focus. We also have the programming team, which I am a part of. We program the bots robotic controller using different programming like LabView, C++, or Java. We personally use Java to program our bot. We also have the CAD team. CAD stands for Computer Aided Design.They design parts for our robot using CAD software such as solidworks. This combination of teams collaborate together to design and create a robot. 

This season we can earn points by scoring balls into a contraption or climbing on bars. There are many ways to build a bot. We are not restricted to standardized building material (some exceptions apply mostly to electronics). So we have to use our brains to put together pieces of wood or sheet metal to create the bot. Building the bot also includes wiring. The electronics communicate through the CAN bus. The CAN bus is commonly included in cars to communicate with the different modules that make up a car. For example the Engine Control Unit and the Body Control Module of a car. 

The bots we build are not little toys either. We can build the bot up to 125 pounds and

They can hurt someone if we are not careful. There are multiple safety measures in place on the field. The robot can be remotely disabled if the robot has a major problem with it. The robots are also required to have an easily accessible breaker switch so we can turn off the bot if that does not work. We also have a light that is required to be mounted that tells us if the bot is enabled or not. This lets us know when to stay away from the bot. Programmers or builders sometimes screw up a part and something could go wrong. I have definitely at least screwed one thing up. 

Overall I highly recommend trying robotics. It is a really enjoyable extra curricular with benefits. There are many scholarships available for people who are in FRC. I hope to see you in it next year!