Takin’ Care of Business

It’s a low-key day at the BotCave.

If you were to mosey on over to our wiki you’d notice that we have quite a few names on there. That’s because we have a lot of potential members coming in and out of the BotCave. For these few weeks leading up to the workshop on February 12th, we have all the new kids come and try their hand at hardware and software. Because people are coming and going, we can’t really get to work on the actual competition problem just yet. Therefore, what we’ve been doing around here is just some housekeeping so to speak. People are learning the ropes of hardware and software. I’m helping Abbie prepare to make this year’s video. I’ve been doing some updating on the website. We’re working hard.

I mentioned doing updates on this website. I specifically mean I added some quotes from last year’s season. You should go give them a read, they’re quite amusing.

There was a surprise waiting for us in the BotCave today. The board was built! Well, mostly built. A few more tweaks and adjustments have to be made, and some pieces have to be obtained, but for the most part we have a board to work with! Yay us!

I have one more exciting thing to tell you before I leave you today. Not that I’m super excited, BUT THE GLOBAL CONFERENCE IS IN CALIFORNIA THIS YEAR RIGHT NEXT TO DISNEYLAND! I’m calm about it. I’m fine. It’s not a huge deal or anything. I can honestly say I cannot wait until GCERs this year.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

What you thought I meant Christmas? Obviously I was referring to Botball…

Yes, it’s that time again. It’s time for a few members of the dedicated youth of the Northern Virginia area to come together every sunday to build robots. First thing first I’d like to introduce you to our tentative team for this year. Our returning members include Greg, Albert (or Allison, I can’t remember what I was calling her), Kelly, Alanna, Mary, Alex, and me. However we have quite a few people in the Botcave today who have shown interest in joining the team. This list includes: Joe, Mikey, Ryan, Kevin, Justin, and Jason.

Let’s get some quotes from the new kids. When asked for a quote about his experience in the Botcave so far, junior Joe Griffin said “I’m having the time of my life!” For real, that was a direct quote. Ask him about it. Sophomore Mikey Luciani (yeah, he’s Kelly’s baby brother, I guess robotics is in their genes) said “I’m enjoying myself to the fullest!” As I was walking around collecting quotes, returning member and senior Greg Kurnos couldn’t help but exclaiming, “I love Botball! I love it more than life itself!” We’re lucky to have such enthusiastic members this year.

Something I’ve been witnessing, this week and last week, is a few competitions within the team to do some hardware jobs. Mr. Gras breaks everyone up into teams and gives them a few mini-challenges. The teams build little bots to complete the task Mr. Gras has assigned and then each team’s robot is put to the test. It’ gets pretty competitive I’m not gonna lie. They cheer during the runs, they clap after success, and they weep after failures. Okay maybe not weep, but they get pretty emotional.

It’s been a magical experience watching young people come together to make something as beautiful as a chassis. Don’t ask me what that is, I can’t even pronounce it. But seriously, from what I can tell everyone is having fun and I think we’re gonna have a really good team this year. No, of course I’m not biased.

Before I end this ceremonial first blog of the season, I wanted to take time to thank our mentors Mr. Grasmeder and Mr. and Mrs. Newcastle. This might sound like a line from a bad, Oscar-esque speech, but none of this would be possible without them. We appreciate the time and resources they willingly dedicate to us, so mentors if you’re reading this, you’re the best!