The BHHS Robotics team, also known as Mortorq or Team 1515, has long been an important part of the lives of many students interested in computer science. Team 1515 participates in the FIRST Robotics Competition every year.
Robotics, as the name suggests, is mostly about building robots for competitions. The competitions involve a game played by the robots which the contesting teams have programmed and built, and the results of the competition are decided by the performance of the robots during the games.
In 2016, the game played was called “FIRST Stronghold.” In this game, an offensive set of robots have to breach a defensive system called “the outer works”. Then, the offensive robots have to capture the defending tower by weakening it with boulders. There were other ways of earning points as well, such as damaging the defending bots or scoring boulders into targets accurately. Most games involve both autonomous movements of robots and human controlled sections. These games are often extremely complex; therefore, a good performance necessarily requires skilled programmers and builders.
In order to create an effective robot, Team 1515 has two main divisions: the programming team and the build team. The programming team has to code the robots appropriately, and the build team makes the physical robot according to the blueprints made. Team 1515 prefers to use Java as the main programming language, as it is one of the easiest languages to teach to newcomers and is platform independent, making it one of the most flexible languages. This quality allows the code to move from one computer system to another in a seamless manner, a crucial function for a robotics team. In addition to the programming and building teams, Team 1515 has a business team in charge of other important aspects, such as promotion and expenses.
Although Team 1515 do not know what the game will be for 2017 yet, they have already started training their newcomers and improving their own programming and building skills. Together, the team’s three divisions at Beverly High have won multiple awards in the past several years, and MorTorq looks to shine again in the upcoming 2017 FIRST Robotics Competition.