My first introduction to robotics was back in 2016, when myself and three other friends formed a competitive robotics team at our elementary school called the Star Trekies. My role on the team was both hardware prototyping and single-handedly programming the entire robot. At the time, I worked in NI's LabVIEW, which was something I quite enjoyed, and was a great learning experience.
When presented with the question of which highschool I would apply to at the end of 8th grade, I specifically chose H.B. Beal Secondary School due to their well-known competitive robotics team, Raider Robotics, which later turned into a special-invite full-credit program at the school (conveniently counting towards my college requirements).
In my first season (2017-2018) with Raider Robotics, I worked on Q*bert as a programmer. I very quickly fell down the rabbit holes of both the software and hardware sides of robotics at the same time, and dedicated most of my time towards learning about real-time systems, and writing libraries to better the team. It was around this time I started work on one of my largest projects to date, Lib5K, a monolithic robotics library that can do literally everything Raider Robotics needs for their robots. Some information, documentation, and history on the project can be found here.
Raider Robotics: Q*bert
In my second robotics season (2018-2019), I was nominated to the Lead of Software Development role, taking charge of a team of 12 software developers under me as well as taking on the responsibility of teaching new team members how to work with robotics systems, and in some cases, how to program in general. This season, I held an influential role in the design and implementation of our robot HATCHField. With HATCHField, my team and I developed crucial autonomous software that helped bring our team to the provincial championships in 2018. I got my first high-pressure hands-on experience with real-time computer vision, path planning, and autonomous path following during this robotics season.
Raider Robotics: HATCHField
From late 2018 to mid 2021, I worked on a testbed robot, named MiniBot. This robot was built by other team members, rebuilt during the very end of 2018 by myself and some other team members, then fully rebuilt by myself during 2019. MiniBot was used for prototyping hardware for other robots, as well as being a software and unit test testbed for myself and my software team.
Raider Robotics: MiniBot
In my third, and technically final robotics season (2019-2020), I both took lead of the software development team, and played a highly influential role in the hardware design of our robot, Darth Raider. Darth Raider was a true technological spectacle, featuring many highly-integrated physical systems, tied together with many sensors, a multi-camera computer vision system, and high-performance fully-autonomous control software.
Raider Robotics: Darth Raider
After the 2019-2020 robotics season, Raider Robotics temporarily shut down due to COVID-19, but I continued work on MiniBot and Lib5K along with two other team members in an effort to provide as much information and tooling to the team before we all graduated highschool.