Royal Oak Robotics is the home of competitive robotics in Royal Oak. Currently there are 3 Middle School FTC Teams and 1 High School FRC Team. Teams are open to any attending student in good standing at ROHS or ROMS.
Both the ROHS & ROMS teams compete in competitive robotics competitions each year. The High School team competes in FRC while ROMS teams compete in the FTC league. Both are developed by US FIRST. More information can be found at www.usfirst.org.
Our schedule varies throughout the year, but we meet almost every Thursday evening from 6pm – 9pm. During the build seasons we meet much more often, a minimum of 3 days a week.
Royal Oak Middle School lab (2nd floor mezzanine)
- Learn and apply Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) knowledge by designing, building, and testing a working robot.
- Develop and practice team-based interaction.
- Access to mentors and adult leaders who are professionals in business and engineering fields.
- Access to college scholarships.
- Internship possibilities.
Where to start
The best way to get involved or find out more about the team is to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact ROMS or ROHS main office at any time. You’re also welcome to come by the shop on Tuesdays.
The FIRST Robotics Competition is an international high school robotics competition organized by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). Each year, teams of high school students compete to build robots weighing up to 120 pounds (54 kg), that can play in a game, which requires robots to complete tasks such as scoring balls or flying discs into goals inner tubes onto racks; hanging on bars; balancing on balance beams; etc. The game changes every year, keeping the excitement fresh and giving each team a more level playing field.
Level of involvement
During FRC build season, a student is expected to attend 2 weeknight meetings (choose from M-F 6pm-9pm) and every Saturday meeting (9am-12n). A very active group, we design, fabricate, program, and debug an industrial scale robot in only 6 weeks. Students are expected to get their hands dirty with tools, and use their brains to think through mechanical, strategic, and electrical challenges. All high school students are expected to read the thick and complicated FRC rules thoroughly and often, so that they not only understand how the competition works, but so that they might also come up with winning strategies to help the team. Students practice behaving in and contributing to meetings like young adults.
Royal Oak Robotics Team’s goal is to transform culture in ways that will inspire greater levels of respect and honor for Science and Technology, as well as encourage more of today’s youth to become Scientists, Engineers, and Technologists. The team strives toward gracious professionalism while creating an environment where students grow as individuals. We strive to apply these goals every time we meet.
If students, choose to participate in the FRC league there is a Pay to Participate fee. In some cases the fee is waived and should never been seen as a barrier to participate, we want all interested team members!
Do the students design the robot?
In the FRC league, students help partially with the design. They participate in the design discussions and reviews, provide valuable feedback, and often provide some of the best ideas. Having the expertise of seasoned coaches to drive the design means that students spend more time gaining valuable experience with a working system that actually stand a great chance of performing with excellence.
How many competitions each year?
For FRC there are a minimum of 2 competitions with the possibilities of qualifying for States (Grand Rapids) and Worlds (Detroit). FTC varies, but will be at least 1 event. We also attend what are known as off-season events.
How much hands-on?
Coaches are constantly delegating tasks to idle hands, making sure that everyone masters as many tasks as possible, using training as a stepladder to learning. Students will be using large metal-working machines, such as air tools, drills, band saws, lathes, 3D printers, and CNC machines.
Will my student learn to program/solder/build/troubleshoot?
Coaches do try to get each student exposed to as many skills as possible, but it is also up to the student to get themselves involved and stay active. All questions are encouraged, but “How can I help?” is most appreciated.
Does my student need to know math/engineering/electronics/programming?
Nope. But it helps. We see students who may not necessarily have strength in a discipline like math or programming develop an interest just from the exposure and their observation of practical application of those disciplines.
What are parents expected to do, minimally, to support the students?
Parents provide volunteer hours assisting the team, provide food and drink for Saturday sessions, help feed students, drive to competitions, and provide additional build-support.
Is the team a team, or just a club?
We are teams. We compete at high intensity competitions. This is an important consideration when deciding to join.
Is the team sponsored by ROPS?
Sort of. We are not given financial support, but do receive the support of ROHS and ROMS administrations.
How is the team funded?
We raise money and receive grants from the private sector. The major sponsors of the teams are GM, DTE, Consumers Energy, Ford, and Hitachi who each provide more than $3000.00 a year in support. Overall it requires close to $35,000.00 a year to run all the teams.
What if my student has a lot of homework and can’t attend a meeting?
Homework first. We do suggest that students come to the meeting and work on their studies in the hall. Sometimes knowing that their peers are busy working in the next room motivates them to get their homework done a bit faster.
What if my student has a concert/athletic event/other commitment?
This depends on the student. Some are able to manage their multiple commitments and some are not. As mentioned above, this is not a club. If you feel you are over committed, this might not be for you, right now. We’d still love to have you stop by and check it out, though!
Do you feed the students on the long Saturday meetings?
Yes. Thanks to the efforts of our parent volunteers, food is provided every Saturday.
Have you ever won?
Yes. In fact, we have more awards than almost any other team at ROHS in the last 15 years. We have won dozens of awards and multiple championships. We have traveled to the World Finals twice with the team: once in Atlanta, and once in St. Louis.