robotics club

Visit niskyrobotics.club for more.

I served as the president of the Niskayuna Robotics Club at our high school. Each year we participate in the First Tech Challenge, building a robot to compete in challenges. Our performance at our regional competitions qualified us for the world championship, but that was unfortunately canceled due to COVID-19. Additionally, we are involved in our community, visiting students throughout the year to show them how the topics they learn in school can be applied in the real world to create exciting things.

In addition to building a robot each season, we have to document our work in a comprehensive engineering notebook. This notebook shows the design process from initial brainstorming all the way to final testing and tweaking. No matter how we do each season, we are always immensely proud of the robot and documentation that we create.

2020-2021 Season

A lot of our members this year were heading to college soon, so our main priority was to ensure that the next group of club leaders and members were ready for a full season of FTC. Unfortunately, COVID prevented us from doing FTC that year, let alone meet in person at all. We sent home electronics kits to our members and worked on activities during our meeting time.

More than just robot building skills, we wanted our new members to understand the type of environment we imagined robotics to be: A place that’s open to people who are willing to learn and share. The year was far from ideal, but we hope that we could bring a little of that spirit to our members across the screen.

2019-2020 Season

From the past season, we learned how important it is for a team to carefully follow the design process. We spent lots of time in the brainstorming and planning phases before we began execution. Additionally, we created an apprentice system for new members to the club to improve our sustainability.

We did well this season and even qualified for the World Championships based on our performance at qualifiers. Unfortunately, the event was canceled because of COVID-19.

Here’s our final match from our qualifying competition:

You can see our engineering notebook for the season here.

2018-2019 Season

This season our robot had a very unique design that we managed to execute pretty well, but issues with our electronics were persistent throughout the season and made competition difficult. We qualified to our state event, but definitively could have done better with those electronics issues resolved.

Looking back, I would have spent more time in the beginning steps of the design process. Additionally, we learned the importance of testing before the competition day.

You can see our engineering notebook for the season here.