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.
Our goal is to continue to improve and refine our approach to robotics. One of our main issues has been that knowledge of the sub often leaves with graduating members. This year, we remedied the problem by using Bloomfire, a web-based tool that allows for easy sharing of information. We plan on expanding this resource so that future members don’t have to relearn concepts already understood by the graduating members. To improve knowledge retention, we began the year with a series of learning meetings, in which club officers presented concepts and practices to new members in an interactive lecture style. These meetings provided opportunities for new members to learn without practicing on the sub, where mistakes cost time and money. We intend to continue these learning meetings to educate new members.