Robot competitionsRobotics Competitions

Team R Factor 6024 first robotics Competition Team

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Team R Factor 6024 first robotics Competition Team

The Girl Who Loves Robots

Bhumi Chheda with her team, R Factor, represented India at First Robotics Long Island Championship held in New York and Houston

Since January, there has been a lot of noise-clanging metal, clacking keys, and cachinnation-as Team R Factor – a bunch of high school students of Mumbai who have been racking their brains to develop a robot at their workshop in Mumbai, the Mindfactory. Bhumi Chheda, Grade X, SVKM JV Parekh International School, team leader of 15 members, talks to Malini Menon about how the only robotics team from India won several awards at FIRST Robotics Long Island Regional Competition held in Hempstead, New York, and Houston.

Team R Factor
Team R Factor

What is this competition all about?

The FIRST Robotics Long Island Regional Competition, hosted by SBPLI, is held annually in March/April at Hofstra University, in Hempstead, New York for school kids of grades 9 to 12. Each team can have 15-25 members. The kick-off is held in January every year when teams receive a kit of parts common to all teams everywhere. They are tasked with designing and building a robot in a six-week time frame. Once they create their robots, teams participate at the regional levels. And then, finally, they are ready for robotic play-offs at the championship.

Team R Factor | FRC 6024 - Team India
Team R Factor | FRC 6024 – Team India

Tell us about your experience.

We emerged victorious at SBPLI #1. We won the coveted Engineering Inspiration Award and one of our team members won the Dean’s List Finalist Award. We were qualified for the World Championships in Houston. There, it was a surreal experience as 3,225 teams from 26 countries competed with one another. At the championship, we won the Gracious Professionalism award.

What are the qualities and skills needed to be a robotic architect?

What an innovator need is a drive, passion, and willingness to take theoretical knowledge, use it practically and make an impact on society.

Do you see enough girls taking par in robotics?

While teams from around the world, including us, are working hard to bridge the gender gap, unfortunately, it remains skewed. Our team is trying hard to encourage more involvement amongst girls.

What skill sets are needed for robotics?

While it’s a totally hands-on experience where we learn mechanical, electrical and software skills, what the tournament made us realize is that one also needs a business plan besides engineering excellence.

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