By DANIEL MURPHY
MELROSE — Ever since placing 11th out of 80 teams in their division in the FIRST Robotics World Championship in Houston, Texas this past April, Melrose High School’s Red Hawk Robotics has continued their winning ways. From June to November, from Worcester, Massachusetts to Falmouth, Maine, Red Hawk Robotics has amassed a 30-match win record, made possible by both returning and new members. These scrimmages have provided valuable experience and feedback, which will prove essential come competition season. Speaking of experience, many new members have joined Red Hawk Robotics this year and are being trained on all aspects of creating and running a robotics team. New members spend several weeks learning the basics of their specific field(s) and training with many incredible mentors and veteran students. By the time build season arrives in early January, each teammate is ready to design, build, code and compete with a fully functional robot.
Red Hawk Robotics has ambitious goals for this year. Not only are they aiming to compete in their second consecutive World Championship, they are looking to increase their budget from $70,000 to $100,000. The team has invested time and money into new machines that will benefit them in the long term. Purchases include a OMIO CNC Mill (computer-controlled precision machining) which will allow the team to cut polycarbonate (plastic), wood and metal at accelerated rates, enabling the team to prototype rapidly. A Bambu X1C 3D Printer will allow the team to make higher quality 3D printed parts; 3D print using multiple materials, including carbon fiber; and 3D print at exponentially faster speeds.
The combination of success at competitions and ambitious pre-season goals paints a promising picture for the future of Red Hawk Robotics. They will face this challenging season head-on, with seasoned veterans and first-year students alike ready to take on whatever comes their way.