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Robotics Teams at Emerald Ridge and Puyallup High School
Robotics Teams at Emerald Ridge and Puyallup High School
Posted on 11/28/2016

Students who are interested in robotics have an opportunity to be involved in robotics teams at Puyallup High School and Emerald Ridge High School.

The robotics teams meet at least once a week at each school until the First Robotics Competition (FRC) announces the official competition goals, then teams meet nearly every school day until the competition begins.

Last year the FRC set a medieval theme for the 2016 Stronghold competition where the “bots” had to be able to cross several types of static as well as dynamic field obstacles and toss balls into the opposing team’s castle at various heights. For an added bonus, for the bot had to climb the castle walls.

Horns of Havoc 2016 Bot

This year the competition will have a new theme and set of goals and objectives that will call for a whole new robot. The FRC will announce the competition guidelines January 7.

Once the FRC has announced the competition goals and objectives, the teams will know what the robot must be able to do and the design work for the bot begins.

After the bot has been designed, part of the team goes to work to assemble the design, while others study and test coding software to control all of the bot's systems. Build season has begun.

“I can’t say that the coding is my favorite part of the whole process, but it really is the heart of the robot” admitted Matthew Hawley, a junior and a returning member of the Puyallup High School robotics team. “One of my favorite parts though is getting to spend so much time with friends. We put in pretty long days and end up spending quite a bit of time together so after build season we start to feel quite a bit like family.”

Although the robotics teams have been running for many years already, this is only the second year that the teams have met at both Emerald Ridge High School and Puyallup High School explained Brennon McCoy, a senior at Puyallup High School and 4th year robotics team member.

Emerald Ridge and Puyallup High may have separate teams, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are on opposing sides. Because the competition is alliance based (one robot for each team and three robots on each alliance) they could actually end up working together on the same side at the competition, if not opponents.

While the robotics teams continue to grow, this year with record breaking attendance already, the teams are in hopes that Rogers High School will have a team up and running next year.

“I’ve learned a lot about mechanical parts, motors, and electronics as well as a lot about coding.” described Brennon. “I came in with very little experience, and I was able to learn a lot even though I was new to robotics. If someone was interested and didn’t know much about robotics, I would encourage them to just show up willing to learn.”