Team Blitz 2083 begins its 2020 season

Conifer Robotics team kicks off its season


David Pond, mentor, with Cassie Cutright, Freshman, coding a practice robot. The practice robot is used to test code and different parts. “We practice for programming and connecting it to the laptop so we can make sure the program works,” said Cassie Cutright, part of programming, electrical, and website design teams. Photo by Elijah Roeper

On January 4, Conifer High School’s robotics team, 2083, began its 2020 season, resulting in a period of planning spanning two days.

FIRST Robotics teams are given a certain task that must be completed by a robot. The robot has to be coded and built, and are divided into three teams at CHS, electrical, mechanical, and programming. The team competes with other teams from around the state and eventually may compete with other teams from around the country.

“We’re starting to make progress,” sophomore Liam Healey said. “Programming team is getting to work programming a practice bot for the team to use to practice driving. The electrical and mechanical teams have built a little prototype ball launcher. It seems to be working well, with only a few accuracy problems but those should be sorted out probably by the end of the week.”

The robotics team’s progress on the robot compared to past seasons has been “apples and oranges” according to David Pond. During the previous seasons, the team used the same code for the robot, but this season the team is restarting it from scratch due to changes in the robot’s code.

“We’ve always been able to just take the existing robot code, and so we started kind of way ahead and this year we have to start from scratch,” mentor David Pond said. “So it puts us a little bit further behind than usual.”

The prototyping with the mechanical and electrical teams have been doing better this season in some parts, but worse in others. The team has had the wrong parts and has been reconsidering the design for a chassis.

“In some past years we’ve had a chassis done in the first week, we didn’t have that this time,” lead mentor, Chris Debrunner, said. “There was an issue with getting the right motors and things.  So we’re a little behind in some things and ahead in others. Overall, I think the group is really working well together.”