by HARSHAWN RATANPAL | special to 92128 Magazine

RB High Robotics Gets Geared Up For New Season

Rancho Bernardo High’s robotics team has achieved an unprecedented level of success in the last year, and they plan to use that momentum to propel themselves into the new season. For the first time in its history, the student-led Team Σ-motion claimed victory at the Lancaster Regional event, qualifying them for the 2018 World Championships.

Team president Andrew da Cunha has been a member of Team Σ-motion for all four years of his high school career, and he has seen the team grow in different ways since he first joined as a freshman.

“Physically, we’ve been able to expand out of the tiny rooms we used to work in, buy more tools, more parts, and more machines that help us realize our potential,” da Cunha said. “As a team, we have been focusing a lot more on planning ahead of time; we’re working together as a team to improve the structure around our process with timelines and the like.”

Another resource that da Cunha claims has aided the team in growing is the support they’ve received from the local and STEM communities. Last season, Team Σ-motion acquired generous grants from companies like NASA that helped them realize their potential.

According to da Cunha, acquiring enough funds to meet the basic needs of the team has always been a struggle, but due to their recent success, they have able to raise about $50,000 in the past year alone. He hopes this sends them on a path to exceed all past hopes and expectations.

“This year we plan to capitalize on our past year’s success and take it even further,” da Cunha said. “We have a lot to improve on, but our team is twice as large, twice as funded, and twice as dedicated.”

Harshawn Ratanpal is a junior at Rancho Bernardo High School. He is participating in an internship program with 92128 Magazine.