Having been in the FIRST arena for many years now, we obviously already have our own perspective from alumni, coach and mentor points of view. That being said, it's always great to get a totally fresh perspective of the organization and competitions. There's really no better way to accomplish this than to get it first hand from a member of a more newly formed team. Ringo from First Tech Challenge Team 12715, Robo Tux Cats, stopped by the FIRST Looks studio at ROBOTICON 2018 to let us know more about their team and their journey.
The Robo Tux Cats are a Florida team, from the Four Corners area. When we met, they were just starting their second season and, just as the year before, they were ready to jump right into the build. Prior to their rookie year, founding member Ringo had been wanting to get into robotics. After expressing his interest, his coach got the ball rolling with FIRST. And even with their small team of just four members, they were able to jump right in and get a robot ready for competition. The game for 2017 was Relic Recovery, which was a great one to get started with. They find the 2018 game, Deep Space, to be a bit more challenging but they like it a lot.
As a ninth-grader in his second year with the Robo Tux Cats, Ringo is the main programmer for the team. He also enjoys doing the photography for the team. And with such a small team, he, of course, finds himself helping with various other tasks, such as getting parts for the builders. They have a dedicated team, each with a lot of responsibilities and they are able to accomplish a lot, even though they generally only meet together once per week.
Check out Ringo's full interview to learn more about the game itself and their specific build.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
Daniele is a student at Florida Polytechnic University who is studying Computer Science with a concentration in Cyber Security. In High School, she was introduced to the science and technology world through the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), a robotics foundation where students of varying ages can compete through tasks that their robots perform. With help from mentors she met through FIRST, she became interested in programming and developing. Today, Daniele is a special events host for F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and PLuGHiTz Live Special Events and a co-host for both The New Product Launchpad and FIRST Looks.
Although Michele has worked in the banking industry full time for many years, she originally went to school with a concentration in communications, advertising and marketing. She began her career in sales and retail management, selling electronics and computers. Her love of all things tech eventually brought her back into the electronics arena three years ago when she started with PLuGHiTz Corporation to help with special events as a Production Assistant. Soon she began to dabble with the audio and video and is loving her role as Producer. She's also one of our content writers and assists with product reviews. Looking forward, she is excited to expand her skill set into editing and helping the company continue to grow.