Robotics prepares for competition

Team utilizes late nights to improve efficiency

Robotics+adviser+Trevor+Paulson+works+with+junior+Nick+Perszyk+during+the+team%27s+meeting+Feb.+10.+According+to+Paulson%2C+the+team+does+not+have+a+class+during+school+hours+to+work+so+it+has+to+stay+after+school.+

Noah Orloff

Robotics adviser Trevor Paulson works with junior Nick Perszyk during the team's meeting Feb. 10. According to Paulson, the team does not have a class during school hours to work so it has to stay after school.

Gabriel Kaplan and Noah Orloff

While reflecting on her goals for robotics, junior Julia Salita said increased female involvement would leave a positive impact on the team and help diversify the field. 

“My goal for the team, in general, is to not only get new members but also get more female members because, at competition, the judges love it when more females are on the team and especially when they’re in charge,” Salita said. “They absolutely love it because they want to see more women in STEM and engineering and participating, and they don’t want to be a male-dominated sport or field.”

Noah Orloff
Junior Julia Salita works on a robot during robotics practice Feb. 10. Salita said the team is currently strategizing before working on the real robot.

According to junior Nick Perszyk, the robotics team is preparing for competition in March. 

“For this year’s challenge, we’ve got to make a robot that can shoot dodgeballs into goals and lift up onto a pivoting balance beam,” Perszyk said.

Although the team has made some progress, it still has a long way to go before being prepared for competition, according to adviser Trevor Paulson.

“We still need to finalize our bit design, our swag, our shirts, stuff that we need from sponsors and that kind of stuff. There’s a lot to do behind the works,” Paulson said. “We also have to work on our media and social outreach as well as documenting some of the stuff that we are doing.”

Persyzk said the team’s competition includes specific activities performed by its robot.

My goal for the team, in general, is to not only get new members but also get more female members because, at competition, the judges love it when more females are on the team and especially when they’re in charge.”

— Julia Salita

“This year, we score points by having an automated portion at the beginning where we program our robot to operate itself — the autonomous section — and we get a few points for doing that,” Persyzk said. “Most of the points from then on depend on getting dodgeballs into one of three goals and being able to have the robot lift itself onto a beam.”

According to Salita, robotics is currently conducting preliminary tests to find out what will be included in the final product. 

“Right now, we’re mainly prototyping and most of the stuff that we’re building right now probably won’t be in the final robot,” Salita said. “Once we figure out how it works, we’ll actually build the real parts and will make it more efficient and then we’ll actually put it all together.”

Persyzk said the team decided it would be beneficial to hold late nights each week. 

“Depending on the week, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, we will stay late and eat dinner here just so we can get a lot done,” Persyzk said.

Salita said she encourages those interested in robotics to come try it out.

“You don’t have to join in full force or go to every meeting every second, but come in and talk to us,” Salita said. “Worst case scenario, you don’t like it and you don’t ever come again.”