Robotics team invents competition-ready robot


Auva Soheili

The team members in the Robotics Club divide up the responsibilities of preparing the practice robot in the workshop on Friday.

Auva Soheili, Staff Writer

A robot named Neptune, who has the ability to climb and drive, is living under a bag somewhere on campus.

The Carlmont Robotics Team, also known as Deep Blue, works together each year to create a new and improved robot that showcases its special abilities in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). The newest robot was conceived from aluminum tubing, a few steel parts, plastic, and plywood.

The team assigns different responsibilities for each member, but all members ultimately help bring the robot to life during the six-week building period.

Kevin Wang, a junior and one of the co-captains, keeps the team on track by delegating tasks, managing people, and making decisions while keeping the big picture in mind.

“The coolest feature this year, specifically, is that the robot is able to push all 120 pounds of itself up a 19-inch ledge, and then drive onto it,” Wang said. “It sounds simple but it’s not an easy technical feat.”

The goal of the Robotics Team is to create a robot with the ability to win enough awards through the regional competitions to qualify for the World Championships. This year, Deep Blue is attending two regional competitions.

All 45 official members of the Robotics Team contributed to building Neptune. From the beginning, members are split into sub-teams, technical and business, within those sub-teams, are subgroups which allow the members to contribute to the creation of the robot in various ways.

“This year, I contributed by coordinating a majority of the fabrication team and building many parts myself,” said Kevin Moy, a junior who is one of the students leading the building of the robot.

Due to competition regulations, on Stop Build Day the competition robot must be bagged away and left untouched leading up to regionals; that is why Deep Blue also creates a practice robot. The practice robot is a replica of the competition robot which is being used to test code, new mechanisms, and practice driving.

However, with all the preparations and effort put into creating a unique robot, the team has only gone to the World Championships once in the last four years. On the other hand, the club has won four Spirit Awards through the competition.

“The most rewarding part is seeing something you designed, built, or programmed come to fruition and become a whole robot that works,” said Wang. “It’s an awesome feeling to see the robot succeed when you made a part of it yourself!”