Category Archives: Point of View

Week 1 of Build

Since kickoff, the team has been busy trying to keep up with the previously set deadlines throughout the build season.  We first analyzed the entirety of the game manual, created a strategy, went on to brainstorming, and then finally prototyping.  So far, the prototyping (I was put on the boulder manipulation group) has been my favorite part of build season, even though there is so much more work ahead of us.  As a veteran this year, I’m having fun helping my fellow rookies through the organized chaos that I had to go through last year, and I do hope they are enjoying build season as much as I am.
Miyo Imai
Class of 2018
 The start of build season has been quite tiring, awe inspiring, and very educational. My first brainstorm and chassis prototype group were super complex and detailed, and we had so much fun lamenting over how we were going to build this season’s robot. In our groups we did some intricate math, rattled our brains, and took some hot chocolate breaks. Mentors pitched in their ideas and just like that, we solved problems and created new ones. We shared our ideas and solutions with the team and got great feedback and helpful suggestions. All in all, my first year in robotics is quite the adventure!
Zenaz Sarkari
Class of 2019

Kickoff

This year’s kick-off was really exciting and interesting. First, we watched the game video which was super cool this year. This was my favorite part of the day because I think this is one of the most interesting games FIRST has ever designed. After we did that, we split into groups and read the game manual, which we then discussed as a large group. Finally, we brainstormed ideas about the possible things we wanted our robot to do. It was definitely a hectic day, but I had a lot of fun!

 

Sana Shrikant

Class of 2017

As a rookie, kickoff was a very new experience. Despite having to wake up and work much earlier than I wanted to, it was just as exciting as the veterans made it out to be. After watching the livestream and anxiously waiting for the game to be announced, the video finally began. This was one of my favorite parts of the day, because it was exciting to see what we were going to be work on after much anticipation. After the game was announced, we had wasted no time splitting off into groups so we could go over sections of the game manual. And once we had gone over the whole game manual with each other the brainstorming finally began. By the end of the day, we ended up with a long list of great ideas that are going to contribute to the making of our robot.

 

Cynthia Chung

Class of 2019

This was the first time I went to Kickoff at SJSU. It was super early, but everyone there was awake and ready to find out what this year’s game would be. After finding out the game and being able to see the game pieces, we went back to ND to go over the game manual and brainstorm. Overall, Kickoff was so much fun, and the game this year seems like it going to be really interesting.

Hannah Patrignani

Class of 2018

WWRF Workshop

During the WWRF workshops, I only attended one workshop, 3D Printing – Getting Good Prints out of Printrbots. When I came into the workshop, I didn’t know anything about 3D printing. During the workshop, they taught us things like how make the object to print, how the printrbot works, and what to and not to do while printing. We also learned about how to get the most desirable prints. Overall, the worksop helped me out a lot. I’m still not an expert on the subject, but I do know a lot more than when I started out.

Naina Manoj

Class of 2019

I attended the Intro to Java Programming Workshop and the Strategic Design for Build Season Workshop. As a member of the mechanical committee and having never before programmed, the Java workshop was full of new and confusing things. Thank God I had Kimberly Zhang, the most amazing programmer, sitting right next to me to help me through it all. The second workshop I attended was mostly ideas and concepts that I was preciously familiar with, so I was more comfortable and I could help rookies to learn more. Overall, the workshop experience was extremely fun and one that I will never forget.
Camille Miller
Class of 2016

Scavenger Hunt

The Scavenger Hunt was so much fun! It was interesting to see what activities were at each stop. I think the most fun one was at Johnny Rockets because we got to eat French Fries :P. Another entertaining activity was near Quickly’s. We had to dress up as the Jankster mascot as quickly as we could. It was really funny because everyone else who was walking by was just staring at us. I think, overall, this was a really fun experience.

Himani Parikh

Class of 2018

 

Toys for Tots

This is my second year helping out with Toys for Tots, and this year, I helped out at the face painting booth and was the toy runner. The toy runner stays behind the scenes and picks out toys that the children would like and delivers it back to Santa. I had a lot of fun picking out toys for the children and hearing their excitement as well as gratitude toward the gifts they received. I would most definitely help out with Toys for Tots again next year, because it is one of my favorite volunteering event that we do on our robotics team.

Rikako Shimizu

Class of 2017

This past week I volunteered at Toys for Tots, a Christmas event for the kids of low-income families. The children came to see Santa Claus who gave them a gift and later participated in all the fun activities. The Janksters did a variety of jobs, but I was a toy runner for the majority of the time. Searching through mountains of donations to find the toys that the elves requested was really challenging, but I felt proud that that I was able to help out. The kids’ joyful laughter of excitement upon receiving a gift from Santa was a great reward for me. The event had a high, positive enery and everyone was pumped for Christmas in the upcoming week. Though tired, I had so much fun and I would love to participate again next year!

Lily Johnson

Class of 2019

Young Women’s Engineering Symposium

The Young Women’s Engineering Symposium was a great way to meet and hear the stories of different female professional engineers.  The women were all very inspiring to listen to, and I loved hearing the advice they gave us.  My favorite workshop (if I had to choose) would be the robotics engineering workshop.  The women showed off the robot they created named Relay, who is a used as a delivery service for guests at multiple hotels.  Relay is able to maneuver around a hotel and deliver items to hotel guests.  Overall, the symposium was a hit and I can’t wait to meet more female engineers next year!

Paulina Robles

Class of 2017

YWES gave me my first opportunity to get a feel of the engineering possibilities, and I am so glad I decided to go. I came to the event not knowing anything about the workshops I decided to attend, but I left with new knowledge of the three careers I had heard about. The first one, Biomedical Engineering, exposed me to how engineering and biology are combined into one super cool job that allows engineers to be superheroes by inventing multitudes of medical devices that work to keep people alive and healthy. I was also introduced to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and their program SWENext for young girls looking into a future in engineering. In my second workshop, Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering, I heard about some gender bias that occurs out in the field and also had the oppurtunity to look at some interesting projects that the speaker, Kat, has worked on, including US Navy submarines and NASA rockets. In my third workshop, I got to meet the cute hospitality robot Relay and it’s creators from the new company, Savioke, who explained their prototyping process, what they had to do to make it more human-friendly, and the algorithms needed to make Relay a successful robot in the hotel hospitality business. The event as a whole increased my interest in engineering, and I know that every time I consider what I want to pursue in college and as a career, I will look back on this event and remember everything that I heard and learned.

Miranda Godinez

Class of 2018

Intel’s FLL

FLL was one of my first experiences being a part of the robotics team and I had the most amazing time. I worked at making buttons, and so many kids wanted to draw their own pins; I felt like they had so much fun as well. When I walked around and saw how excited the kids were about showing off their pins, I had the biggest smile. In addition to making buttons, I helped out with the concessions and it was cute seeing the children debate over which candy robot they wanted. By the time I went home, I felt accomplished. Although FLL has all your attention on the kids for long shifts, I look forward to participating in FLL next year.

Tani Pham

Class of 2018

It was great to see all the kids so enthusiastic about being able to drive the robot. I was also able to talk to some adults about our robot, its mechanisms, and our process throughout build season. The FLL tournament gave me more experience in talking about the robot in a way that anyone, even kids, could understand. Overall, the event had a variety of opportunities and fun activities for both children and adults to learn about robotics.

Nikita Jagdish

Class of 2018

October Projects

The October project was a great way for me to get to know the rookies and to prepare my mind for build season. I was amazed to see the different projectors that each group came up with even when give the same goal. After interacting with the rookies and girls from other committees, I am definitely more excited to see how everyone’s unique and creative thoughts will be applied to this years game. This project benefited me as it was a tiny refresher of the process of build season.

Kimberly Zhang

Class of 2017

It’s not easy having a million ideas in your head and only one month to take one idea, build it, and make it work. When the team was told that we had three weeks to brainstorm and build something that could shoot a specific ball for a certain number of feet away, I was so excited. I was paired up with two other rookies and two veterans to shoot a ping-pong ball at least 4 feet away, and I immediately thought the idea of a catapult. Our prototype worked pretty well, so the veterans in the group suggested that we should rebuild it out of metal and maybe use a piston. Building the final was quite stressful since we almost ran out of time in learning about angle brackets to connect extrusions. Unfortunately our final presentation and run didn’t work as well as we hoped since the piston was a new concept; however, I’m still glad that I got to work on this project, because I made tons of great memories and friends with the other veterans and rookies. After October, I’m really pumped to learn and work more in the Mechanical Committee. I never would have guessed that robotics would be the thing for me, but now I’m sure.

Shreya Basireddy

Class of 2019

I had an amazing time working on the October projects. I’m new to the team and this was my first time. It really helped me adjust to being on the team. At first I was embarrassed that I didn’t understand what the veterans were actually talking about, but after working with them I was able to ask for help understanding things when I needed to. I realized later how important brainstorming is, because the machine would not have worked out as well without all of the planning. When we started prototyping, there were also challenges, such as constant testing, retesting, reforming, and at one point, we changed the method of how we were going to shoot the ball altogether. I feel this really prepared me for build season, because I’ve heard its really stressful and that week is so crucial because thats when most of the work is done.In the end our project turned out so well, and we even finished early.

Naomi Dasari

Class of 2018

Training Rookies

 

As I began my third year on this team I noticed many unfamiliar faces fill the small room I have always known as D107. I made my way through the crowd to find my friends to share my excitement, new students, FRESHMEN! I remember telling them that I couldn’t wait to talk to all these new Janksters and get to know them better. At this moment I realized that I was one of those terrified, self-conscious freshmen just two years ago. I too sat alone in one of those desks, surrounded by people I had just met five minutes ago. Sadly, in that moment I had another realization, that it would take time for these freshmen to open up and be comfortable in the Janksters community. This deeper understanding has stuck with me, a month into the school year, I haven’t gotten close to a freshman yet but I am hopeful, because one day, soon, they will be comfortable enough to shout out GO JANKSTERS at games and talk to veterans. That is a day I am waiting for.

Parisa Deokule

Class of 2017

Seeing all the new faces in robotics is utterly amazing. Looking back on my first year in robotics, I can remember how exciting it was to be learning so much so quickly and being opened up to a whole new world, one that I never knew existed. I can’t wait for the new rookies to experience this. Robotics truly changed my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world! Rookies, get ready to embrace your nerdiness!

Camille Miller

Class of 2016

The start of a new school year encounters new people, new experiences and of course the reboot team 1967 Janksters. This is my second year on the team and it’s exciting to take on the role of being a veteran instead of a rookie. It will be challenging to take be the teacher instead of the student, however with every new beginning there is something new to learn. Training the rookies is something that I am really looking forward to because I have the opportunity to teach new things on a topic that I am truly passionate about.

Ysabel Zagala

Class of 2016

Becoming a Jankster

People always say that freshmen are “fresh meat”. I was terrified at the thought that I would be lost or unwelcome in a new to high school and a new home, even though I had several of my friends coming to Notre Dame with me. Yet, meeting the Janksters for the first time at Robotics Boot Camp 2015 made me realize that the team members weren’t about seniority and upper class priorities, but I saw how greatly the words friendship and fun bonded each of them to one another. Through the various workshops and introductions to different committees, I have not only been able to make new friends and memories, but I learned basic robotics skills that would eventually accumulate to bigger contributions in the future. Although I lean more towards building the next robot with the Mechanical Committee because of the activities I enjoyed in Boot Camp over the summer, I’m extremely excited to work with all the Janksters and solve all of our problems together.

Jayel Ambat

Class of 2019

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