Local Clubs – FIRST Robotics Competition 2023

MegaHurtz Robotics Team 5056 at FIRST Robotics Competition 2023

FIM District St. Joseph Event presented by Whirlpool Corporation
by Thomas Hoyt, Writer

On Thursday, March 9 to Saturday, March 11, 2023, the MegaHurtz Robotics Team #5056 attended this event held at St. Joseph High School in St. Joseph, MI. The results of this event can be found here: MISJO FRC Event Web : Event Information (firstinspires.org). This event and many others like it are part of FIRST, an organization which inspires students to pursue STEM education. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. MegaHurtz is part of Lake Michigan STEAMWORKS, who is a financial partner. You can click on the links above for more information. STEAM is a variation of STEM, where the A is added to represent the arts as more and more technology is being used for the arts.

Photo Shared by MegaHurtz Team 5056

As a mentor for MegaHurtz, this was my very first experience at a FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) event. So I didn’t know what to expect when I first arrived with the team. FIRST encourages teams not only for competition, but also cooperation, hence their new word “coopertition”. There is a large PIT area where all the teams have their robot and tools needed to maintain and improve their robot. Each team does numerous qualifying matches and is put into an alliance for each match. So a team can reach a high ranking simply by being put into a good alliance.

Photo Shared by MegaHurtz Team 5056

From what I experienced, these matches are not that unlike a beta testing for a new product. This is part of engineering. The team brainstorms ideas for what their robot needs to do and then after a design is agreed upon a “prototype” is built. Now teams may go through revisions in their design before coming to their first competition, or a team may not have their robot completely built until the day before competition. Hence the first competition is the beta testing for their robot. Teams can then revise their robot design while in the PIT as time and resources permit. You can watch these events as they are streamed live online here: firstinspires33 – Twitch. Be sure to catch MegaHurtz at their next FRC event at FIM District Kentwood Event presented by Dematic.

Photo Shared by MegaHurtz Team 5056

About MegaHurtz Robotics: Formed in 2013, the Tech Club helped to raise interest in starting a robotics team at Buchanan High School. The cost of starting a team is substantial, however the State of Michigan had made available a huge grant to new teams. This grant combined with a FIRST Rookie grant provided us with the funds needed to get off the ground. While we didn’t make it to the state championships our first year, we did win the Rookie Inspiration Award highlighting our team as an inspiration to other start-up teams what is possible with a dedicated group of students and mentors.

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