FIRST Robotics Competition Team 968
In high school I joined Team 968 RAWC, or the Robotics Alliance of West Covina. There I participated in a group of about 7 main members in building robots for the FIRST Robotics Competition. In FRC we were given different games each year and had to design a robot within 6 weeks to compete for a chance to go to world championships. It was in FRC where I learned most of my manufacturing and CAD skills, but more importantly, where I gained my passion for engineering.
I've been a part of the team for my four years of high school. In the first two years I specialized in the electrical side of robotics. There, I learned how to solder, how to wire the robot, what PWM's are, what fuses were, and much more.
For the last two years in FRC, I designed specific sub-assemblies focused around scoring in the game. My junior year I prototyped and designed a flywheel shooter assembly which shot 6-inch wiffle balls. Here I learned much about how flywheels work, how to tension belts, and how compression can affect moving objects.
My favorite year was the 2018 season, Power-Up, because my sub-assembly worked better than I imagined. In the second first and second pictures to the right, you'll be able to see arms which host green wheels and belts. These are meant to grab a milk crate, and are able to actuate about a joint to adapt to different positions of the crate. I had the aluminum plates water-jetted, and later had polycarbonate plates routed to save weight. I learned much about gear ratio's. the consequences of pulley systems, and how to efficiently actuate gearboxes (which I would later bring into X1 Robotics). This design, along with my peer's clever sub-assemblies, won our team the Industrial Design Award at the Utah Regional!
During each year we would also host Rookie Training Days, and STEM camps where we reach out to the local community and teach children simple engineering. Wiring breadboards to make an LED light up, making bottle rockets, and even the basics of programming through LEGO Mindstorms, it was fulfilling being able to light a passion for engineering in young children.
Team 968 RAWC has quite literally changed my life, and it is thanks to them that I am able to find a passion for engineering, yearning to find that thrill of another successful project.