By Ashley Phan
Robotics is infamous at d.tech – a much loved, time-intensive club. d.tech’s team, B.R.E.A.D, faced many hurdles this year. Their season began in January of 2017, a late start by some members’ standards. The build season is only six weeks, but there seemed to be a delayed beginning with the preparation. Junior, Michael Bentley, Head of Electrical, said, “We should have begun earlier in order to be able to train more people.” He felt that newer members lacked proper training, which impacted the team’s progress.
Nonetheless, the team decided to go with a more ambitious, complex design this year for their robot. There were more actuating components that required a lot more skill and hard work. Juniors, Nick Hom and Nick Dal Porto, led the charge on custom fabrication, and built the team’s robot in two weeks. Robotics Coach and Lead Mentor, Wayne Brock, noted that the team’s skills had “massively increased” from last year. Older members were able to work on their prowess, while the rookies were able to gain a whole new experience on d.tech’s team.
As with all FRC teams, there were some struggles and, in Brock’s words, “opportunities for improvement.” Time management was a particularly tricky issue, and seemed to be the main obstacle of the season. Brock acknowledged the team had “trouble finalizing locking in parts of the design early enough, so build and tasks parallel to it could start.” Sophomore, Thomas Weese, and a few unnamed others agree that designing the project in CAD took a lengthy amount of time. Hom also said that: “ lot of people have very different personalities and interests, so opinions would often clash.” Arguments were frequent.
Of course, the team had its winning moments, especially at competition. A student, who wishes to remain anonymous, said, “Everyone that went to [San Francisco Regionals and Silicon Valley Robotics] was trying to contribute to the team, which was cool. I think the fact that our team leads were dedicated to the team and knew what to do, helped the team.” Kristin Tan, a member of SF SOTA’s Team 5700 who had observed them at Regionals, commented, “They are very spirited and seem to have a lot of pride in their work. They become very cheerful [in times of celebration] but remain calm for the most part.” She complimented their hard work and friendly attitude. All in all, the students had many memorable moments and are ready to join Robotics again next year.
We wish Team B.R.E.A.D good luck as they prepare for next season!