My Time At Zebra Robotics
By: Aditya Shah
Zebra Robotics has been a great learning environment. They have set opportunities for me that I can never have imagined. In a few years’ time, I have challenged myself to think critically and effectively at competitions like First Lego League (FLL) and Zone 1, while learning to respect my peers and my opponents.
When I started to attend Zebra Robotics in September of 2016, I went to the Robotics 400 classes, having no past training or use of the technology. I still remember my first class, one of the head coaches, Coach Satish. He understood that everyone in that class had little to no past experience with using Lego Robotics. The robot was explained carefully, starting with hardware, and moving onto the parts. Coach Satish simply and wonderfully explained the components and how effective they can be when combined with simple code. I was challenged to think outside of the box while knowing I would not be judged even if I failed, because of Zebra Robotics’ welcoming atmosphere. I was then chosen to move onto competing in one of the FLL teams.
My time at FLL was captivating. I was able to program, innovate and learn extraordinary things in 6 months with my team, the Wave Riders. I traveled to Seneca College, the University of Waterloo, and Rick Hanson Secondary School for my FLL competitions, I have also been to Montreal for Zone 1. We worked diligently and eliminated all conflicts with consensus. The process for FLL is the best part, making each day unique. We were able to make a strong bond with each other because of the process. Though the idea of our product becoming reality was terrifying, we used that for our inspiration. Competition days were hectic, but the rush of adrenaline is always exciting. Presentations on these days helped improve my concentration, performance, and confidence for the future. Overall, FLL engages everyone’s mind.
Zebra Robotics’ has many benefits for the students. Before I came to Zebra Robotics, I wouldn’t be able to express my thoughts clearly and I couldn’t adapt to certain situations. I learned to become flexible with my new, developed skills. Flexibility is important for competitions because they require you to complete a variety of tasks efficiently. This skill allowed me to adapt and problem solve. Robotics helps students realize their passions and what they are able to do. Kids who learn robotics early on will be more likely to understand their future pathways. I have also learned to be a team player and a leader as I learned to communicate clearly. Furthermore, robotics has thought me to respect my peers. I was able to learn the essential skills needed for future work at Zebra Robotics and I learned how to use them for competitions and problem-solving.
G.E.A.R.S PAINT NIGHT
Zebra Robotics hosted our third G.E.A.R.S (Girls in Engineering and Robotics) workshop where students made their own paintings with L.E.D. circuits in them. Beautiful work, girls!
CROC: CODING AND ROBOTICS OPEN CHALLENGE
Zebra Robotics will present our own in-house Coding and Robotics competition, CRoC! On April 15th, we will be introducing our first competition focused only on coding. Future CRoC competitions will include both coding and robotics categories. This season’s theme is the Ice Cream Parlor! The prompts/challenges for all coding languages will be oriented around a system for running an ice cream parlor. Ask your instructor for the challenge sheets for your coding language specialty. After the competition, students and staff will have an ice cream party! Please inform staff of any dietary restrictions.
ONTARIO INNOVATION CELEBRATION
On February 25th, the Wave Riders traveled to Seneca College to compete in the Ontario Innovation Celebration. They received the Problem Identification Award. Congratulations team!
CRoC (COMPETITION FOR ROBOTICS AND CODING)
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE PROVINCIALS
All three of our teams showed their top game at the University of Waterloo for First Lego League Provincials.
Team UnResolved received a Robot Design Award.
Team Wave Riders received a Project Innovation Award and were selected for Ontario innovation Celebration.
HEADED TO FLL PROVINCIALS
All three of our First Lego League teams have aced their regional competitions! Wave Riders, Hydro Innovators, and UnResolved will be competing at the provincial competitions at Waterloo at the end of the month. Wish them luck!
FIRST LEGO LEAGUE SUCCESS!
Our first FLL team to compete, the Hydro Innovators, aced their performance at Fletcher Meadows SS last Saturday, coming in second place out of 18 teams! We’re so proud of all their hard work, and we invite everyone to send them best wishes as they advance to regionals!
For three days, we had a group of students fly in from Gandhinagar International Public School in India to participate in our robotics workshops. We’re so proud of all the hard work they did!
On June 24th, Saturday from 4.30 PM until 6.30 PM, Zebra Robotics Tech Fun event will be held at their facility in Mississauga. Tech Fun Event was first organized in 2016 and was a big hit among our customers. The event features some of the projects by students and few robotics games that everyone can try their hands on. Light refreshments will be provided during the event.
Pictures from last years’ event.
During the event, students who have completed Robotics 400 Advanced level and Coding courses will receive their certificates. Students who finished top in their class will also be getting a medal recognizing their achievements. The event will open with a speech from its co-founder Satish Thiyagarajan.
Three teams from Zebra Robotics competed in Zone01 and World Robotic Olympiad challenges in April and May 2017. Immediately after 2016 First Lego League competitions, they started preparing for these events, while some members continued their Robotics 500 and Coding classes.
All three challenges were mechanically complex and students experimented a lot before deciding on an efficient design. Some of the preparation went well into the last weeks before the competition.
Once at the competition, Zone01 team Laser had a surprise change
in their mission and had an hour to make design and program changes. They methodically did this, finishing on top in the GTA. Meanwhile, our WRO team Squawk also finished first and advanced to the Nationals in Montreal.
Our WRO and Zone01 teams both finished fourth in the nationals. WRO team Squawk’s robot performed exactly as expected, and now they plan on setting their target higher for next year.