About Delta Prime Robotics
Delta Prime Robotics is a FIRST Robotics team for high school age students in the area of the Richmond and RSU2 school districts in Maine. This includes homeschool, private, and charter school students. We are a 4H non-profit 501(c)3 organization with a volunteer coaching staff providing a free and open STEAM opportunity in a co-ed competitive robotics team. No prior skills, knowledge, or experience is required to participate, we are all here to learn new things together.
Every year in January, FIRST releases the details of the game. We then have about 8 weeks to design, fabricate parts, build, and program our robot which we take to two main competitions in March, and possibly to district championships. Competitions are 2 full days, with heats taking place every 5-15 minutes. In each heat, a random alliance of three robot teams competes against three other teams to play the game, which takes about 2.5 to 3 minutes. The first portion of the game is called Autonomous, in which the robot controls itself using the programming the team writes. In the remaining Teleoperated period, human drivers remotely control the robot with manual and program-assisted controls. In between those heats, teams repair or upgrade the robots because parts do break. We do our best to demonstrate "Gracious Professionalism" while competing in these intense "Coopertitions".
Robots are expensive and this team is free for student members. Team registration alone is $6,000 each year. We have additional costs for robot parts, transportation and hotels at competitions, and a place to build our robots. We work together to come up with a business plan to sustain the operations of our program and then execute on fundraisers and soliciting team sponsors. Our team is a non-profit, and we run not unlike a tech company... three of our adult mentors work for tech companies here in Maine.
There is something on this team for anyone. Obvious roles you might expect are things such as mechanical building, wiring and electronics, programmers who learn to write Java, and a drive team to actually control the robot, but it takes a lot more than that to have a successful team. We have folks interested in business who help develop and execute the business plan and financials of the team; artists who work on graphics and team spirit projects like banners, costumes, and logos for t-shirts and our social media sites; strategists that analyze the game to figure out how we want to play and scout other teams; and a safety captain responsible for maintaining safety policy and helping promote safe team culture as we work together in the shop. Lastly, we have a team of volunteer adult mentors/coaches that collaboratively help guide the work of the team and make sure our student members have the skills they need to be successful and have fun.