The Mission Hills robotics team adjusts to a new way to compete

After a complicated year, the Iron Kodiaks finish off their season better than ever


Photo by Mrs. Marks

The Iron Kodiaks worked hard this season even if it was different than most.

Mission Hills’ Iron Kodiaks have finally put their remote controllers and screwdrivers down, as the competitive 2020-2021 robotics season has come to an end.
“While this season wasn’t ideal competition wise, the Iron Kodiaks really nailed it this year! It took a lot of extra planning and effort to make this season happen, but our team stepped up to the challenge. Each of our subgroups were really on top of things, and as a result, we were able to compete in 2 different challenges. I couldn’t be prouder of the team!” club president Sara Huffman said.
The season began back in January, with all team efforts taking place virtually. As with all other aspects of this school year, the robotics team had to deal with drastic changes to their season to accommodate for COVID-19 guidelines, which dealt with drastic changes to their season.
“The unique competition this year forced us to face problems in a way I think will benefit us in the future. Personally, the best part of the season was when I was able to get the 110+ pound robot to run precise paths autonomously. One thing to do differently: I wish that we would have been able to work together in person more rather than communicating remotely,” sophomore Ashwin Bardhwaj said.
For the Iron Kodiaks, this year’s competitive season involved two different events: Infinite Recharge at Home and the FIRST Game Design Challenge. For these new challenges, the team modified the robot from last year as opposed to making an entirely new one as they had done years prior. This year, the team modified the robot from last year (as opposed to making an entirely new one as they have done years prior) for the new challenges.
“For Infinite Recharge at Home, our robot had to complete various events, such as racing the robot around a predetermined course, shooting as many balls as possible into the goal in under a minute, or even picking up balls placed around the game field autonomously. For the Game Design Challenge, our team had to create a game concept for future robotics competitions. We had to draft a theme, create objectives, and make general rules for how our game would be played,” Huffman continued.
At the end of both challenges, the Iron Kodiaks were required to present the results to a judging panel over Zoom. The team’s results, according to the team members, couldn’t have been better!
“This season was definitely very different from others but I think it opened the door for some really unique opportunities. The Game Design Challenge was really engaging and I learned a lot about leadership in the process,” junior Garett Watson said.
Although the competition season may be over, different training workshops and projects meant to help improve the technical skills of teammates are in the works. The future of the Iron Kodiaks is surely going to be bright! For future information on the activity of the Iron Kodiaks, you can access their official website here, and don’t forget to follow their Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube accounts.