2009: Category 5 (right) vs. Bradley
University's Jailbreak in CA 2009. We ran
into each other again at Mecha-Mayhem 2011
in IL for an Insectweight event!
returned just in time for our first
match the next morning, and what
followed was a day so intense that
we didn’t have time for exhaustion.
We finished the event in second
place — a record for our school and
the storybook ending to our high
school robotics career.
Robotics in college was an
entirely different experience in many
ways. I went from an all-female
team to being “the girl” on the
team, but the guys were glad to
include me and even let me drive
the robot. A lot of manual machine
time was replaced with CNC and
waterjet cut parts, and I learned
how to apply the engineering
principles I was learning in class to
avoid a lot of trial and error.
I eventually became president
of our college robotics team and
travelled to Vallejo, CA in 2009
2010: Mike and I competed against each other
at BotsIQ 2010 for one of the most intense
matches of the event.
where BattleBots filmed a mini-series that included our third place
win. Some small changes earned us
a second place win the next year —
and four Coolest Robot awards
along the way. I stayed in school an
extra year to get my Master’s
degree in Biomedical Engineering
(or was it to compete in BattleBots
IQ one last time?), and 2011
brought another second place
victory, along with the award I had
coveted most throughout the years:
the Best Engineered Robot award.
It was an incredible experience
and I wasn’t ready to outgrow the
sport quite so soon, but we no longer
had access to a school’s budget.
Mike and I decided to get together
with a few South Florida builders
and try our hand at much smaller
Insectweight bots. Going from
designing 120 lb robots to designing
2011: My Antweight, WhipperSnapper (right),
competes in Mecha-Mayhem 2011 in IL.
1 lb robots had quite a learning curve
as we discovered what parts and
materials to use. It was like starting
from the beginning all over again.
These small bots have turned out to
be really exciting and are surrounded
by a great group of competitors of all
ages and backgrounds. I can’t wait
to see where this crazy sport will
take me next. In addition to
competing any chance we get, we
stay involved by hosting exhibitions
at local schools, judging events, and
we are in the process of planning
our own event for the first time.
This hobby has become a way
of life and I am constantly surprised
at the camaraderie and enthusiasm
that surrounds everyone involved in
the sport. Many thanks to those
that have made this possible for me
throughout the years. Let’s make
sure kids can keep building bots! SV
SERVO 06.2012 51