We are the TerrorBytes, an FRC team with the goal to teach students about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and also to have lots of fun along the way!
We participate in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), specifically their FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). FIRST is an organization dedicated to educating students about science and technology through robotics.
FIRST runs a number of robotics programs, including FIRST Junior Lego League (JrFLL), FIRST Lego League (FLL), FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), and the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). We participate in FRC, which is an international competition of robots created by high school students. The robots have to complete specific goals that are set each year.
The TerrorBytes are about more than building robots, it’s about teamwork, business, and technical knowledge. We have mentors who teach us the skills that we need to be successful in both FIRST and in life. We also work with other teams we’ve met, like Team PyroTech, who help us along the way.
With this help, we become successful when it comes to math and science. This allows us to have a better chance in our future careers.
Team TerrorBytes was founded at Research Triangle High School in Durham, NC in late 2012, participating in our first competition in 2013. The team has about 15 members now, and is looking to expand as our school grows.
In our rookie year, we found kickoff initially intimidating because of the complex task our robot would have to do. We left with a kit of parts and the overwhelming task of building a robot in just six weeks. The kit contained just a chassis, basic electrical components, a small on-board computer, and the components needed for a basic drive-train This let us build a robot that could drive around, but anything else we had to provide for ourselves.
We spent the first two weeks designing, leaving four weeks for the actual build. We split into two teams: the build team which was responsible for all electronic and mechanical duties, and the programming team which was responsible for all things software.
After four long, fun, but grueling weeks, we had built a functional robot that could score goals and defend effectively. We worked frantically all the way to the very last moment, midnight on “bag-and-tag” night, which our robot had to be sealed for competition. We have a montage of the build:
When we rolled in to competition, we were in for a challenge. We were nervous but excited. We spent the practice day frantically doing final fixes to our robot before sending it out onto the “battlefield”.
In the end, there were victories and losses, triumphs and tragedies, but the one thing everyone agreed on was that it was fun.