The BreakerBots Are Blasting Off!

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Written by Mitali Chowdhury, Journalist

Every January, FIRST Robotics Teams around the world eagerly await kick-off day, when the program’s game for the season is released. With a message that encourages students both to look back on the past with pride and to be inspired to shape the future, the theme for this year’s game, Destination: Deep Space, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

On the morning of January 5, the BreakerBots were certainly inspired and thrilled to receive the challenge they would be facing this season. Just before the official game animation and rules were released, the woodshop was filled with talk and laughter as team members, mentors, and alumni speculated about what was to come.

Finally, the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mew6G_og-PI) was released, signaling the beginning of the 2019 build season. The release was followed by group activities to fully understand the challenge, which were shared with team Deep-Space from Hollister. The first three days after kickoff continued to be quite intense for members, and they quickly learned the rules of the game, identified the challenges for the year, and began to design a robot.

Exactly 7 days after kick-off, the BreakerBots met with members of other local teams to share their thoughts. The Robodores of Monterey, Cypress Circuits of Stevenson, Nuns and Bolts of Santa Catalina, Deep-Space, and the youngest team on the peninsula, Plus Ultra, all convened to compare ideas and show off current progress. With five weeks of the build season left to go, all teams are enthusiastically prototyping mechanisms, designing parts, and writing code to fulfill these goals and hope to build a robust, competitive robot by Stop Build Day in mid-February.

This year’s season is especially special for the Monterey Bay, as the local teams will be hosting the first ever Monterey Bay Regional. 36 teams, most from California but with a couple from China, will participate in the competition at Seaside High School from March 21 to 24. As the BreakerBots launch into this exciting year, stay tuned to hear about their endeavors and achievements in Destination: Deep Space!