CyberCards gear up for upcoming competition season


Dylan Torres

Senior Jacob Jackson works hands-on during a meeting. The CyberCards look forward to competing this season with their new theme as “Mission Deep Space.”

The sound of metal sheets with perforated holes scraping on metal hinges, the clicks of fingers purposefully typing code on computers and robotics-focused speech slipping from the mouths of students fill the atmosphere of a robotics meeting.

These things, and a number more, preoccupy the minds of these students who shuffle around computer labs and workshops at SHS after hours. However, students on the robotics team, or CyberCards, work hands-on with much more. Imaging, design, sponsorship, electricity, tools, computer, essays and tactics.

For most people, when they hear the terms “robotics” or “robot,” they picture the finished product.

“(Robotics) is a giant group of people that just create a bunch of cool robot stuff,” freshman CyberCard Molly Barrett said.

Currently, members of robotics are gearing up for their first competition. They have begun building both a practice robot and a competition robot. The practice robot is used to test code and troubleshoot, while the competition robot is kept in fine form for the competition, according to junior CyberCard Jade Germann.

Ideas on how to go about building these robots and developing strategies actually stem from a video that kicks off build season. This video outlines the goal and focus of the upcoming competition. This year’s theme is Mission Deep Space, according to Barrett. This entails having the robot load items into a rocket and cargo bay to obtain points.

“We all just have to work together and we get into fights sometimes but it’s really a family dynamic,” Barrett said.

According to senior CyberCard Athena Henderson, from there, members of the team congregate to begin brainstorming, considering the contents of the video. The strategy team begins developing strategies, and the members of the CAD (computer animated design) team use those ideas from the group and make their own ideas. Eventually, after much reviewing and tweaking, the team ultimately picks an idea and begins building a prototype (the practice bot) as well as the competition bot.

Both Germann and Henderson says that the team is currently meeting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is considered build season schedule, and the robotics team has been in season since kickoff, which was the first Saturday of January.

“We are very dedicated. Some kids actually come in Tuesday and Thursday to get ahead of the game,” Germann said.

The team will transition to competition season at the end of February to early March, but until then, members of the team are focusing intently on the robot’s creation.

“It is a lot of work and a lot of time that goes into it to get everything done and ready for competition season,” Henderson said.