The Amador Valley High School Robotics Club was founded in 1999 by an intrepid group of students with a passion for robotics. These students decided to enter the International Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition, a competition in which only colleges competed. Despite this, with their ingenuity and dedication, they placed 6th at the 2000 competition with their AUV Hammerhead, above several of the nation’s most prestigious colleges. Each year, this club continues their tradition of excellence at the annual competition.
After this momentous first step, the club continued to improve upon its designs and algorithms for their second generation sub, the Manta Ray. At the 2001 competition, we placed second only to MIT! This well-deserved victory showed that a group of high school students with dedication could do better than college students with more funds and resources. Since then, the club has competed in every competition and has had many successful finishes with its Barracuda line of subs.
Barracuda was a project 14 years in the making. It has evolved over the years as each new set of members comes and goes.
In 2015, the AVBotz team has made alterations to the way we’ve traditionally done things. We’ve doubled membership from the original fifteen to the current twenty nine members, reinstated a public relations division to focus on community outreach, and increased the number of weekly meetings.
Other things haven’t changed. The group still meets with Harvest Park Middle School students to teach robotics and computer programming, demonstrates our autonomous submarine to the general public at the Alameda County Fair, and offers lectures on mechanical, electrical, and software concepts not only to new AVBotz recruits but to all Amador Valley High School students. Every step of the process from development to manufacturing is handled by our members with no help from technical advisors. We continue to uphold the team’s legacy of excellence that started sixteen years ago.