Robotics kicks off build season after annual competition announcement


Kinnera Mulam

Harker Robotics members gather around a computer to discuss robot design plans on Monday for FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). To improve from last year, the members aim to create a design that is achievable yet challenges them.

by Kinnera Mulam, Co-STEM Editor

Harker Robotics began its build season after FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) announced the 2023 game details at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Around 30 members gathered in upper school robotics advisor Dr. Eric Nelson’s room Saturday morning to watch FRC livestream the instructions for the 2023 game. This year’s FRC mission requires the robots to stack cones on a pole and place inflatable cubes on a shelf before completing the end game, balancing on a seesaw. Design Director Sania Gupta (11) finds this year’s mission easier than the 2022 game in which teams created robots to shoot balls into two “hubs” of different heights and to complete a climb. 

The team will remain in build season until the two regional FRC competitions on March 9 to March 12 and March 23 to March 26. If they qualify through these two regional contests, Harker’s team will advance to the championship event in April. In hopes of improving from last year and attending the championship, the members aim to achieve better organization.

“One of the main issues we had last year was overreaching a lot and thinking we’d be able to machine, assemble and code everything once the design is done no matter how complicated it was,” Sania said. “We’re definitely trying to limit ourselves this year and make sure that we have enough time for everything by making a detailed schedule and sticking to it.”

Additionally, the team will begin meeting after school until 6 p.m. on all weekdays except Fridays and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. As she starts on this year’s design, Sania looks forward to seeing the complete robot and hopes her transition from a design lead last year to design director this year will allow her to work with the team more in-depth. 

“This year, I’m more excited to be more involved in the creation of the robot,” Sania said. “Like last year, seeing how it goes from a design to a real, machined and assembled robot that can actually drive and complete different tasks is really cool.”