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Code Red Robotics Team Attends Finger Lakes Regional Competition

By Jennifer Zhao, 22-23 PR Officer  |

FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics team Code Red, based in Ithaca High School, has ended their build season! For the last seven weeks, students have been working up to 28 hours each week to design, build, and program this year’s 120 pound robot for competition - Tyrannosaurus Red.

Code Red Robotics Team

The competition this year involved picking up cones and cubes, and placing them on a grid to score points. The game starts off in a 15 second autonomous period, in which the robot moves around and scores points without human control. Once the autonomous period is over, drivers and controllers maneuver the robot for a little over two minutes to place as many cones or cubes as they can, then balance on the “Charge Station” during the endgame to score additional points.

Upon receiving the challenge, team members split into groups to strategize on how to score the most points, and decide what subsystems and capabilities we wanted the robot to have. Design teams then developed and tested prototypes to meet the specifications that the team decided on. These designs were refined, CAD-ed digitally, and machined into the final product. Students then programmed and tested the robot’s capabilities.

“This year’s challenge was unique from what our team members were used to seeing. It presented a lot of challenges, but all of which we were able to solve when students put their heads together on the problem,” says Ian Krywe, advisor of the team, “I’m really proud of all the student ingenuity that I saw throughout the build season.”

Code Red Robotics Team

This year’s build season also saw the return of Code Red’s annual STEM Open House. On February 4, team members invited the community to engage in STEM concepts with their family and friends. Code Red offered a tour of the tech rooms as students worked on the robot, and invited STEM community groups such as the Sciencenter, Cornell University student organizations, and middle and high school tech clubs to present interactive displays of their work. Code Red aimed to present STEM in a fun way to the community, and the turnout reflects its success. Over 200 community members, families, and children attended the event.

Following the completion of the team’s build season, Code Red Robotics attended the Finger Lakes Regional competition from March 16 to March 18 at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Despite urgent needed repairs and installations between matches, students were always able to fix the robot and prepare it for the next game. Through this, team members built up their critical thinking and problem solving skills while working on real-time problems in the pits. Between robot repairs and matches, students developed lifelong friendships with other teams in the pits as they collaborated on common problems, and in the stands where they cheered for one another.

Code Red Robotics Team repairs robot

“This is the charming part of Code Red Robotics and FIRST. I learn a lot from it. I learned to be gracious, to be professional, to be optimistic, to be ready to overcome challenges, to work together with others towards a common goal,” says Rocky Shao, a rookie member on the team who attended his first regional last weekend. He had a fulfilling experience meeting others and seeing the robot in action. “I’ve exchanged valuable experiences with other teams and made great friends. Everyone was kind and willing to help each other. We are full of ambition and excitement for Tech Valley Regional in Albany [the team’s next competition] two weeks later.”

After elections last spring, Code Red is led by seven officers: Emerson Schryver, President; Annalise Thompson and Wali Alfridi, Vice Presidents/Build Team Managers; Alex Elia, Community Outreach;, Celene Sahoo, Treasurer; Shaine Wei, Team Administrator; and Jennifer Zhao, PR Officer. As a student run club, the officers are charged up for the rest of the season.

FIRST Team Code Red Robotics would like to continue to thank its sponsors: BAE Systems, BorgWarner Morse TEC, Cornell Bowers College of Computing & Information Science, Cornell College of Engineering, Cornell Institute for Computational Sustainability, Datapoint Labs, Duthie Orthodontics, Finger Lakes Consulting, Incodema, Sciarabba Walker, The IHS Class of 1951, Tompkins Community Bank, Vector Magnetics,, ICSD, ICSD Board of Education, Ithaca High School, and IPEI. Their support makes it possible for the team to operate and to foster a love of STEM.

Code Red Robotics Team

Code Red is an associate member of the IthacaSTEM Advocates, an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), a non-for-profit organization that believes the education of every student in the Ithaca City School District is enhanced through community connections and support.

For more information on Code Red Robotics, please email advisor Ian Krywe at, or visit our website at . More information about FIRST robotics can be found at .

Updates about the team’s progress during Tech Valley Regional will be shared through our social media, linked on our website.