Personal Narrative: The Gila Monsters

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The Gila Monsters was a robotics team without a programmer. Tasked with writing the code for the competition, the team had no knowledge base to glean from, no other programmers and no programming mentors. I was given the FRC Software Resources and told to do my best. LabVIEW was slightly familiar to me, as I had trained under our programmer during my freshman year, but had only been peripherally involved. The team was now depending on me for this robot to perform. The mechanics were there, the electronics were there, but our robot had no brain. Resources in hand, I went to work, reading, studying, writing, testing, failing, and repeating. After much trial and error, we had an intelligent robot that responded to the movements invoked by the joystick controller. Charged with a mission, a desire to learn, a drive to succeed and a commitment to the team, we eked out a functioning robot that accomplished the duties of the year’s competition. The six week build season was soon over and it was time to “bag and tag” the robot, still I continued my research. Between the stop build day and our competition, I immersed myself in all things robotic, looking to improve performance.…show more content…
As a homeschool graduate, and the only child of committed parents, I was given the most challenging curricula available, and stretched to the length of my inherent abilities. The major goal for my primary and secondary education was to create a self-motivated learner. I have chased after my required and elective subjects with great passion, spending endless hours in research and activity, satisfying my desire to learn and gain mastery of the subject at hand. The Gila Monsters challenge took me to even higher levels of inquiry with motivation for our team to be contenders at the FIRST Robotics Competition, Arizona
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