We represent the four competitive robotics teams in Royal Oak. Currently there are three middle school FTC Teams and one high school FRC Team. Teams are open to any attending student in good standing at Royal Oak High School or Royal Oak Middle School. We are always looking for excited new teammates to join the Ravens! 2016 frc southfield


The Royal Oak High School team and the Royal Oak Middle School teams compete in multiple robotics competitions each year around the state. The High School team competes in FIRST Robotics Competition while the Middle School teams compete in the FIRST Tech Challenge league. Both are developed by US FIRST. More information can be found at www.firstinspires.org.

Robotics is about much more than competitions though! We also build, test, and repair our own robots, learn new skills from mentors, work on the logistics of running a team, and much more. From computer science to creative design to business management, it takes all sorts of talents to produce a winning robotics team and we have room for everyone who is interested in having fun and learning!


Our schedule varies throughout the year, but we meet almost every Thursday evening from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm. During the build seasons (January through March for High School and September – November for Middle School) 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. No previous experience in these areas required!
  • Improve your competitiveness for college-level scholarships and STEM careers after graduation
  • Gain access to elite internship opportunities through the skills and experiences you can acquire learning to build and program robots
  • Develop teamwork and camaraderie in an extremely fast-paced, high energy, and competitive environment that prioritizes sportsmanship and cross-team collaboration
  • Build friendships with mentors and adult leaders who are professionals in business and engineering fields.
  • Have fun!

Where to Start

The best way to get involved or find out more about the team is to send an email to coach@team1188.org or contact the Royal Oak Middle School or Royal Oak High School main office at any time. You’re also welcome to come by the Royal Oak Middle School lab on Thursdays. We look forward to seeing you in the workshop!


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 a game which requires all 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 Monday through Friday, 6:00 pm-9:00 pm) and every Saturday meeting (9:00 am-12:00 pm).  We are a very active group because we design, fabricate, program, and debug an industrial scale robot in only six weeks. Students are expected to get their hands dirty with tools, and use their brains to think through mechanical, strategic, and electrical challenges.  Working together, all high school students are expected to master the FRC rules 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 they would be expected to in a professional career environment.

The Goal

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 endeavor to apply these goals every time we meet.


How much does it cost?

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 be seen as a barrier to participate. We want all interested team members and encourage you to reach out to us if you would like to know more!

Do the students design the robot?

In FRC, students help 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 two competitions with the possibilities of qualifying for States (Saginaw) and Worlds (Detroit). FTC varies, but will be at least one event. We also attend what are known as off-season events.

How much hands-on is there?

Coaches are constantly delegating tasks to make sure that everyone masters as many tasks as possible. After all, training is a stepladder to learning! You can expect as much hands-on experience as you want. Among other things, 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?

Yes, students receive as much introductory instruction in these areas as they request and show commitment towards. It is not possible to learn everything in one season, but students who show commitment to areas of specific interest leave the team with a level of expertise that surpasses almost anyone in their peer group. 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?

It helps but it is not necessary!  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. Furthermore, middle school and high school are the very best time to be introduced to math and science if one does not have a background in these subjects. We heartily encourage students who have a dedication to learning to join now – there is no better time to learn!

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. Thank you parents, we couldn’t do it without you!

Is the team a team, or just a club?

We are teams. We compete at high intensity competitions that are every bit as noisy, competitive, and fun as traditional sports team competitions. This is an important consideration when deciding to join, as your teammates will be relying on you to fulfill the commitments you make to group success!

Is the team sponsored by ROPS?

We receive the support of Royal Oak High School and Royal Oak Middle School administrations, but are not given financial support.

How is the team funded?

We raise money and receive grants from the private sector. The major sponsors of the teams are General Motors, FCA, and Ford, as well as the State of Michigan Department of Education. Each of these sponsors 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. We thank our generous sponsors for investing in the community of Royal Oak and the future of leaders of STEM fields who get their introductory technical experiences through Royal Oak robotics!

What if my student has a lot of homework and can’t attend a meeting?

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!

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. Thank you parents for providing energy to keep the team moving at full throttle!

Have you ever won?

Yes!  In fact, we have more awards than almost any other type of team at Royal Oak High School in the last 15 years!  We have won dozens of awards and multiple championships. We have traveled to the world championship several times. Our commitment, dedication, and teamwork make us an extraordinarily competitive team, and we have a lot of fun doing it. We hope you will join us!