Last weekend, the Walton Robotics Team coach and seven team members travelled to Orlando, Florida to host a demo at a local radio host’s family event. At the demo, our team displayed the tshirt cannon and the stacker bot (for people to drive and operate), slingshot rocket construction (so kids and adults could make their own rockets), a business booth with the functions/accomplishments of our team, and a section for EV3 robot driving for little kids. The demo was a huge success; an estimated 800 people were impacted by some aspect of our team alone. We thank NASA for inviting us to share our team with the Orlando community, and we look forward to working with NASA more in the future!


Team members and NASA astronaut with Walt


Reunion attendee posing with Walt & t-shirt cannon


Team member Kenneth explaining the various mechanisms of t-shirt cannon


2016 Build Season

On January 1st of 2016, after our kickoff event, the build season was underway. We immediately started with the design process. Everyone on our team is involved in the design of the robot so that we essentially be together for an entire day and talk about pros and cons of different robots, so that everyone on the team has a say in the final robot. Next, we utilized the following two weeks prototyping and finishing designs. After the designs were finalized and the prototypes broken down, we began building the practice robot and the competition robot. We build two robots simultaneously each year so that we can have one left over for our drivers to practice with. As the six weeks drew to a close, our robot was shaping up to be something amazing. Finally, the night bag-and-tag rolled around, we put the electrical together and all the finishing touches. We bagged up the robot after six busy weeks, and left it alone until the first competition two weeks later.

Drive Team 2016

Columbus District 

Columbus was the first competitive event that we attended in 2016. Throughout the day, there was a little bit of trial and error with the firing of our catapult mechanism, which is the design we chose for Stronghold Bot. Since the competition robot was different from the    practice bot at our build site, we had to make major adjustments, being as our intake could only pick up about three balls per match. Eventually, after hard fighting, we got to pick the alliance that we thought that would best complement our capabilities. Unfortunately, both of our alliance members were nonfunctional during  the finals, along with our robot’s intake being broken, so we ended up losing in the end. But there was still much to look forward to, being as our intake problems could be solved before the next competition, in Dalton.


Action shot of Stronghold Bot at Columbus

Dalton District 

Coming into this event, we knew we needed to make a couple of changes. First of all, we changed our strategy so that we would be able to score more points in a shorter amount of time. We also changed the intake – the new intake made it so that we could scoop up balls easier and faster. In the playoffs, we chose East Cobb Robotics and the GI Joz for our alliance, two teams that we are very close too. In the finals (a very close match), we came out on top, breaking the 1-1 tie. The drive team was very happy with the results because they used new techniques not exercised in the practice. The event was a huge success, being as we also won the Chairman’s Award here.


Walton Robotics Team pit at DaltonWorlds 2016


Worlds competiton is high stress situation for everyone on the team. This is especially true for the members of the drive team. They spendthe whole time on the field where everyone can see them. Every mistake they may make can be easily seen by everyone, so pressure levels are beyond intense. This year’s drive team gave it their all and minimally let up. However, luck was not on our side, because during almost every match, there was something wrong with the robot. Instead of freaking out, the drive team calmly worked out each problem. But Worlds is home to the best of the best, and even though we rectified our mistakes, the fact that we had mistake at all put us at a major disadvantage. We took a lot away from Worlds 2016, and this experience will guide us for many years to come.


Worlds 2016 atmosphere

Scouting 2015-2016


As we entered the venue in Columbus, Georgia, we could feel a sense of pride. We found our seats near the top of the venue, and immediately got to work. We sent pit scouts to gain information from other teams about their robots, and what made those robots special. We watched from above, and gathered data on the other teams. After one and a half days of watching, we finally got our chance: alliance selection. Using the data we had, we helped our drive team find the robots that would help us. They made the decision, and we watched up in the stands anxiously as we marched our way to the finals. We may not have won the finals, but the spirit and pride we felt about what we did for the team was extraordinary.


Scouting team at Columbus, GA


The venue in Dalton, Georgia was quite interesting. We had an almost level view of the field and what was going on during the matches. We sent scouts to gain information in the pits right away. The matches began, and we scouted them, putting all our efforts into getting data that could help us during alliance selection. This continued for the rest of the day and halfway through the next, as we had some of the best data the team has ever seen. Alliance selection rolled around, and we were ready. Our drive team made the decisions; everything was going according to plan. We started eliminations, we cheered, and we had lots of fun. Our team managed to make its way back to the finals and we were ecstatic in the stands. We lost the first match, but won the next one. It all came down to the best-of-three match. The suspense heightened; we could not help but get up out of our seats. In the end, our alliance, composed of East Cobb Robotics, the GI Joz, and ourselves, was victorious. The scouts then realized that they had in essence given our team the competitive edge to win the match, and this was a joyous occasion for them.


Walton Robotics cheering after winning the robot competition at Dalton, GA

Recent Team Awards

Dean’s List 2015-2016

Team member Kenneth Carmon was chosen as the Deans List Nominee for our team. The Dean’s List is a group of extraordinary kids that display outstanding assistance in their community and in their team. At the Dalton District Event, Kenneth was chosen by judges to compete at the State Championship. Our mentors thought his abiltity to explain the robot to anyone of any age was a special trait. Dean’s List is a very high honor, and Kenneth was extremely happy to receive the nomination. Candidates must enter into a one-on-one judging pannel where they must answer a series of questions about their character, with no outside aid. Kenneth did an excellent job, and our team was ecstatic to hear his name called to move on to State’s.


Team members congratulating Kenneth as he exists the judging pannel at State Championships

Woodie Flowers 2015-2016

The Woodie Flowers award is presented to an outstanding Mentor in the robotics competition who best leads, inspires, teaches, and empowers their team by using excellent communication skills. Walton Robotics is proud to honor our very own, Frank Jarrell! As our Woodie Flowers nominee, Mr. Jarrell was honored at the state level this year. He is essential part of our team as our lead engineering mentor and we would be lost without him. As one alumni put it, “He’s the best motivator I know. He instills a sense of personal responsibility and makes you take pride in your work.” He is funny, smart, and one of the most inspirational person you will ever meet.


Mr. Jarrell helping with the inspection of our FRC Stronghold robot

Entrepreneurship Award – Worlds 2014-2015

The Entrepreneurship Award celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit by recognizing a team that has developed the framework for a comprehensive business plan to scope, manage, and achieve team objectives. We earned the entrepreneurship award many times at the local level and at World Championships, making us the first team from Georgia to win an award on the international stage. Thank you to our wonderful awards team for presenting our business plan! 


Awards Team members Rishi and Jules presenting our business plan to other teams

Chairman’s Award 2014-2015, 2015-2016

The Chairman’s award is the most prestigious award at FIRST; it honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. In 2014-2015, we earned the Chairman’s Award at the Orlando Regional. In 2015-2016, we earned Chairman’s at the Dalton District event and competed at the state championships. This year’s theme was Create. Innovate. Inspire. This has been our tagline for numerous years and we wanted to explain why. You can find the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 Chairman’s videos on our YouTube Page (to access, hover over media and click “videos”).


2014-2015 Chairman’s Video


2015-2016 Chairman’s Video

Busy summer – Camps R Us

We’ve been busy this summer! No, we haven’t been in school, but the team has been working hard to spread STEM in our community.


In early June, we hosted our summer camps – Lego, VEX, and Java. Over 50 middle school students spent an exciting 4 days working with Walton Robotics team members learning about robotics and programming – LabView, RobotC, and Java. Students also were treated to leadership and team building activities. Water balloons were fun on a hot afternoon!

After a busy week of camps, our team leadership went on an overnight retreat, led by the awesome Mrs. Boler, our business mentor. We discussed our mission, business plan, important activities, and our team calendar. Exhausting and exhilarating! 15 students and 5 mentors attended this amazing workshop.