Janksters at Intuitive Surgical

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School may be over for the summer, but Notre Dame’s robotics team is just as busy as ever! On June 18, Team 1967 attended Robonanza, an annual event hosted by their sponsor, Intuitive Surgical. That Thursday morning, the Janksters arrived early at Intuitive Surgical, eager to meet professional engineers and operate their robot alongside other Bay Area robotics teams. This year, the girls were in for a treat – not only did Robonanza feature 22 teams from across the Bay Area, but there was also a small field set up for playing a modified version of Recycle Rush! After practicing and debugging the robot, Team 1967 was able to compete in three rounds, improving each time and finishing with a stack of four totes. By the end of the event, the employees of Intuitive Surgical were deeply impressed by the robots and the students they had seen, and the Janksters were proud of how well their robot performed.

Like FRC competitions, Robonanza was more than the robots. Throughout the day, the Janksters got to interact with Intuitive Surgical’s employees, learning about what they do as engineers at Intuitive Surgical. One of the employees was even a Notre Dame alumna from the Class of ‘96! Along with gaining role models in the engineering world, the girls made connections with other teams through competing with them and talking with them in the booths. As Tamara Kawa, ‘16, observed, “While Robonanza is an opportunity to meet our sponsors, it’s also a time to just let loose and be a nerd with your fellow roboticists!” With all the wonderful memories of this year’s Robonanza, Team 1967 can’t wait to return to their sponsors next summer!