An Interview With RPA's Robotics Team

If there’s ever been a team that can get us there, it’s you.
— Mr. White, RPA Science teacher

When I entered the robotics room in the SciPlex at Redmond Proficiency Academy, the school’s robotics team, “Robotics Quasar Alliance,” was working on the linear slide that allows their robot to pick up a yoga ball. The robot, “Celine Deon,” was cleverly named after the infamous singer combined with one of the team’s members: RPA senior Deon Lofton. He is one of five on the RPA Robotics Team that qualified for State, a competition they will be going to this weekend. This team consists of Lofton, senior Alexander Guyer, senior Zach Taylor, junior Jorge Luis Terrazas, and eighth grader Logan Bryan. Their coach is RPA science teacher Josh White. The team has to build and code a robot that needs to be driven and make it through a series of obstacles: lift a yoga ball and place it into a basket, push beacons to turn them into the team’s color, and shoot particles (wiffle balls) into a basket. I had the oppurtunity to sit down with the team’s members and interview them about the coming competition:

 

  • Hailey McMichael: How long have you been working on the robot?

Deon Lofton: September to now.

Alexander Guyer: Yeah, it was September.

Zach Taylor: Five months.

 

  • HM: What did you have to do in order to get to State?

AG: We were the Captain of the Finalist Alliance at the Super Qualifiers in Hillsboro. We also won the Control Award.

Jorge Luis Terrazas: We had sandwiches while we were there.

DL: Yeah, and Tillamook cheese is unreliable.

 

  • HM: What obstacles have you had to overcome to make it this far?

ZT: There isn't enough time. That's one resource we need more of... also more money.

DL: Our autonomous.

ZT: Yeah, we ran into two cap balls.

AG: The driving skills of my teammate was an obstacle.

ZT: Hey, no one else wanted to drive!

DL: We have the ideas and we actually made the contraptions to do it but we didn't know where to place it. Just mounting our contraptions on the robot in specific places to be the most efficient was difficult. Now we have perfected that.

 

  • HM: What's been your favorite part of the journey?

ZT: I've gotta think about that...

DL: Meeting these people.

Logan Bryan: The competitions and seeing the other teams.

ZT: Competing against other teams and seeing how other people designed their robots.

AG: Definitely coaching and staring at my computer in all of it’s glory. Kidding! Watching everything finally come together in the days before the competition.

DL: I think our favorite part is yet to come.

JLT: Yeah, when we win State!

 

  • HM: What are you most excited for?

DL: Our next competition.

ZT: Kicking butt at World’s!

JLT: Seeing what next year’s robot will turn into.

 

  • HM: What would you like to say to the other teams that will be at the competition this weekend?

AG: Probably some kind of Yo Mama joke to be honest.

JLT: Your robot’s so fat, it doesn't fit in the sizing cube!

Josh White: Good luck to all teams!

 

  • HM: Is there anything you'd like to say to your coach Mr. White?

DL: I'd like to thank Mr. White for supporting us in everything we do.

JLT: He stays here late waiting for us.

DL: Yeah, that's very cool. Thank you for your sacrifices.

AG: We promise to lose so you don't have to wait for us anymore.

ZT: No, Alex!

JW: We've gotta see what the Super Regionals will be like. If there's ever been a team that can get us there, it's you.


Don’t forget to wish the team and Celine Deon good luck for this weekend’s State competition!

Hailey McMichael