New robotics season starts up

Scott Andrews and Eric Lu

The Palo Alto High School robotics team is looking for new members to contribute this year and improve the team after not receiving a lottery bid into the CalGames.

Teacher Christopher Kuszmaul, returning as the head coach for this season, is focusing on reorganizing the team infrastructure this year.

“If you talk to any robotics coach one of the first things they will say is, ‘We need to work on our project management,’” Kuszmaul said. “We are working on it but we still need more work. Fortunately we have a captain who is specifically our project manager and he has two assistants, which is three more people who are specifically in that role than we had last year.”

Senior David Najork, who is in his fourth year of robotics, will be team captain this year.

“This upcoming robotics season is looking very promising for the Paly Robotics Team.” Najork said. “This year we have a very organized leadership structure with several experienced captains at its head. We have worked hard over this summer in order to train a group of highly skilled build team members. I have high hopes for this year’s competition and I am excited to see so many freshman members already showing interest in the team.”

While the team has plenty of members with software programming skills it lacks students with mechanical engineering skills.

“It would be nice if we had a few students that are good with hands on things,” Kuszmaul said.

“The team reorg[anization] is really emphasizing the project management role. Knowing who’s supposed to do what when,” Kuszmaul said.

Kuszmaul is also looking for parent willing to volunteer as assistant coaches.

“It’s great to have parent [coaches], although it might be hard with their child on the team. Fortunately we have some funding [for coaches],” Kuszmaul said.

The team will also  be preparing for a trip to one of its sponsors.

“We will be visiting SRI [Stanford Research Institute], which is one of our sponsors and will be showing off our current robot along with another high school,” Kuszmaul said.

Anybody interested in joining the team should show up to practice after school on Thursday, according to Kuszmaul. Any students with or without experience will be welcome. People who go to weekend meetings will most likely get a spot on the team.