RoboPandas Go Remote

By Jada Seto


In the first ever remote season, the Sewanhaka RoboPandas continued their winning streak, placing first at their second qualifier. With a new system for team management, robot design process, and qualifying events, team 4017 has moved on to the championships, which will be held during the week of April 19.


Starting the year on Discord, NHP senior Jada Seto and Floral Park Memorial seniors Sukhsiram Singh and Vivek Mirchandani led the way using Google Jamboard to design the robot for this year’s Ultimate Goal Season. Aiming to launch rings, maneuver around the playing field, and complete all other tasks, the modular systems were broken up into sub-teams, which helped many of the new members learn one-on-one. With a limited number of members allowed into the classroom, the building aspect became a challenge. However, with specified groups, the organization of meetings has benefited everyone to achieve a much-needed camaraderie, even while working far apart.


“One aspect that I took from our team during qualifiers is that you can accomplish anything and overcome any obstacle as a team. Our team has shown me that when you’re on a team you’re not alone and can rely on your teammates for help,” said NHP sophomore Christopher John.


“For many of the RoboPandas, the ability to meet in person, build a robot, and continue the legacy for future generations has been a great experience...”

Along with the sub-teams created for robot building, the team continued to amass the feat of building a digital 300-page engineering notebook for the very first time. Although detailing all the design processes, team strategies, and computer-aided designs were important for the engineering portfolio, the ability to connect with other FIRST teams and engineers in the real world became a priority. With this, peers would be able to continue the pipeline of knowledge before experienced senior members headed off to college.


Source by Jada Seto

NHP sophomore Izhaan Ahmed and senior Jada Seto work together to build a component of the robot.


Preparing for the second and third qualifier, the RoboPandas self-reported scores, submitted the engineering notebook and portfolio, and prepared for their ten-minute presentation as well as their question and answer ​session. Compared to previous years, the qualifier spanned throughout the week, which provided all teams the ability to safely compete remotely. Although teams were not able to compete alongside one another, everyone in the First Tech Challenge on Long Island have been able to graciously help each other in this unprecedented season by assembling parts, joining webinars, and even sharing their seasons through social media.


Source by Jada Seto

NHP sophomore Aakarsh Gupta helps prepare the season's robot for matches while Sewanhaka High School freshman Sean Andrade represents the team by wearing this year's merchandise.


For many of the RoboPandas, the ability to meet in person, build a robot, and continue the legacy for future generations has been a great experience. Although the season has presented itself with many changes and challenges besides the “Ultimate Goal,” the RoboPandas are eager to bring their improved robot, gracious professionalism, and a lot of ‘phun’ to FTC Championships.


Source from Vivek Mirchandani

The Sewanhaka RoboPandas prepare for their ten minute judging session to explain components of their robot, team, and outreach within the community using a cardboard cutout of career and technical education teacher Mr. Koscinski to practice.