Rambotics Reigns Supreme at the First Tech Challenge

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This past Sunday, 1/5/20, the OP Robotics Club – better known as Rambotics – participated in a league meet at Pingry School in Basking Ridge. 

The First Tech Challenge encourages teams to acquire funding from numerous sources: their schools, their parents, donors, and several others. However, while most other clubs/teams had this support, OP did not. Our tumultuous return to existence as a club did not permit such luxuries. Last year robotics didn’t exist, the year before that it didn’t go to a single competition, and the year before that it didn’t score a single point in the competition. Our only member experienced in our clubs’ success graduated 4 years ago. 

Our robot had to be built in two months for the competition from scratch leaving no time for much else. The few pleas made for fundraising were cruelly whipped into silence by rules and regulations demanding that we had scheduled such endeavors the year prior, even despite our lack of existence. Even our lack of existence was forced upon us, a moderator unable or unwilling to be found for us. As a result, this year all that could be covered by school allocated funds was the registration fee and the purchase and a piece of tech all totaling four hundred and four dollars, a budget dwarfed by that of our competitors which had ranged up to ten thousand dollars. 

 

The supplies we did have are suspected to be nearly a decade old, from the founding of our club back in 2010. The only positive about our situation is the sheer amount of raw resources we have. Structural components, screws, nuts, and brackets are abundant but clearly worn out. Our motors, servos, gears, wheels, batteries, and many other more complex components are ancient and we are lucky they function. We have one fuse between three battery packs that can borderline hold a charge. 

Now despite all of this, our club has performed exceptionally well at this last competition, placing first in league play, and making it to the semifinals. However, considering our situation how could we possibly achieve such success. That can be attributed to the ingenuity of the Oratory man. Through great leadership, resource allocation, and executive decisions we were able to lead us to victory. Few resources forced us to create a simple design, so we decided to perform one task very well rather than many tasks poorly. Floor it, grab a block, floor it back over the line, repeat. The tactic is deadly, however, we are limited to it. With proper funding and more fine OP gentlemen, we can build upon our strategy, and become the UNSTOPPABLE FORCE that RAMBOTICS is meant to be.