Robotics team begins building season


Robotics Team 1741 poses after the “Indy Rage Fest” in 2019.

Braiden Doane, Staff Writer

The Red Alert Robotics team is entering their busiest time of year with the start of their build season. To gear up for competition season, they will spend the next six weeks creating a robot to compete in a specific game against other teams.

“Build season is the six week time span after the game has been released and runs until directly before competition season,” senior team captain Chase Rivas said. “These six weeks are the only dedicated time we have to design and build our robot before competing.” 

Red Alert Robotics traveled to UIndy on January 4 to find out what their game for this upcoming season will be. They sat alongside other robotics teams from nearby schools and watched a livestream message from the head of all robotics teams nationwide. 

“The game this year is called Infinite Recharge,” Rivas said. “The main aspect of the game is to collect and shoot 7-inch dodgeballs into pots on a wall that vary in height and size. The game also requires hanging your robot on a suspended teeter totter at the conclusion of each match.”

This season’s game will provide a new set of challenges for the members of the robotics team. 

“This season we will be challenged to get our robot perfected in time for competition season,” senior engineering captain Josh Stevenson said.

In addition to new challenges, there have also been new rules made for this upcoming season. 

“In years past, the end of build season marked the day we would have to bag our robot and wouldn’t be allowed to touch or work on it until competition days. This year, however, the rule was lifted so we will be able to continue working on our robot up till the competition and after,’’ Stevenson said. 

This rule change benefits the team as they can continue working on their robot and fine-tuning it up until competition rather than being completely cut off after the six week period. Even so, much work remains to be done during the coming weeks, and the underclassmen are starting to feel the heat of the building process. 

“Building season is always very chaotic because there are a lot of people working on several different things,” said sophomore Sam Shr. “This year we have a lot to get done, but I think it will all work out and look really good in the end. This season I’m more excited to compete because I think that the game is going to be a lot of fun this year.”

As robotics season heads into full swing, many upperclassmen have increased responsibilities, such as junior Jacob Tallman, who ensures that the wiring and internal components of the robot are in working order. 

“I am the SPEC Captain, which stands for Strategy, Programming, and Electronic Controls. During build season, I mainly work on the electronics and wiring throughout the robot,” Tallman said. “I’m also in charge of scouting during competitions, which is a system we use to survey all the teams at the competition and determine which ones we would like to partner with later on.”

As the team enters build season, they must communicate with other teams and inform community members. This job is handled by their media team led by senior Meredith Fain, and the group has a heavy social media presence.

“The media team has a huge role on the team and during build season,” Fain said. “We are responsible for uploading weekly video updates as well as all of the designs for shirts, banners, posters and our social media presence. Our main job is to make sure that everything that is a part of Red Alert looks nice and coherent.”

Despite the mounting pressure to make sure all jobs are complete and everything is ready on time, the team is still excited and hopeful to see their work pay off.

“I am excited to compete because it will be the culmination of six weeks of hard work, and it will also be an opportunity to see how our robot stands against those from other teams,” Tallman said.