Robotics Team Gets to Work

FGR’s robotics team will not be traveling to compete this year, but Covid restrictions have not stopped the Byting Irish from working together to accomplish as much as they can this season. Divided into several “sub teams”, the Byting Irish continues its work as it prepares to participate in various virtual competitions.

The Byting Irish Business Team’s president, Antonio DeFelice ’21, shared that since the club cannot currently have in-person competitions, this sub team has “decided to move towards promotion of our team and outreach to our other younger students to see if they’d be interested in joining Robotics.” He wants to let students know that the club isn’t “just hammers and wrenches” and that “there’s more that you can learn and further your knowledge in.” Towards that end, the business team has created and assembled gift bags for the new student welcome night, to introduce FGR’s incoming class to the many different parts of the club.

Paighton Gimotty ’22, another member of the business team, explained that this group also gets to function “like a small business” and she enjoys gaining hands-on experience through the management of the Byting Irish’s finances. The sub team oversees the raising and spending of money for different projects and must also recruit and maintain relationships with sponsors. The robotics club’s sponsors this year include NASA, Ford Motor Company, Toyota, and New Eagle. The sub team also hosted a Spirit Wear Day for the school, Georgie Kalkofen ’22 shared, in an effort to use their platform for good. They used their Spirit Wear Day to collect toiletries for Hope Clinic, which have now all been donated to the organization which serves those in need in the Ypsilanti community.

The Programming Team, which Andrew Bishop ’23 calls “the brain of the robot,” hasn’t taken a break this season either. They are working hard to become a better team and, since two of the group’s seniors graduated this past year, they must “gain back what we lost, which were probably our best programming members.” Andrew shared that the sub team works “on a coding format called Java, and we use that to make the robot do what we need it to do.” They are programming the robot to fulfill the requirements that this year’s virtual competition will demand.

The Drive Team’s members have also continued working with the robot, which they have affectionately named “Rivet.” They are becoming more skilled in their utilization of its capabilities by setting up courses in the auxiliary gym and testing the robot’s capacities as well as their own ability to communicate with it.

The Byting Irish are demonstrating remarkable resilience this year and their continued delight in learning and working together is inspirational. This year’s remote competitive challenges will offer opportunities for each sub team to test their mettle in their specific areas of focus; honing skills, building on their previous success, and strengthening the overall Byting Irish program.

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