FIRST & VEX Robotics Team 599, The Robodox (est. 2000)

We designed and built competitive robots from scratch, while also managing our own logistics and business development. Through real-world applications, I gained skills far beyond anything high school could teach me. Our workspace consisted of a CNC router, a manual lathe, two manual mills, two bandsaws, drill presses, and various other tools. Although I was initially interested in just the robot software, I quickly branched out to business and project management. I then began to ask my members to teach me about what they do because my leadership method is leading by example. I discovered a number of things in the process: (1) I love soldering, (2) I love assembling but am incredibly prone to injury, and (3) there is no other experience that condenses so many aspects of engineering and business into a single room. Yes, I was eventually consumed by robotics to the point where it was a full-time job on top of school, but I discovered how deeply passionate I am.


We began with a new coach, new school administration, and very limited experience. Half of us had one season under our belts, and the rest were completely new. Nevertheless, our 45 students dedicated 27,000+ hours over the span of 9 months (myself contributing 1,500 hours) to help achieve our team’s first-ever consecutive Championship appearance, among other record accomplishments.


competition stats

  • Top 10% of teams worldwide

  • Placed 30/77 in our Championship division (team record)

  • Jim Beck Memorial Award (individual)

  • Quality Award

  • Regional Finalist Alliance Captain

  • Team Sustainability Award (team record)

my role

  • Communicated with technical and non-technical leads to help with resource management, conflict resolution, and developing timelines

  • Raised $56,000 as the main grant-writer (team record)

  • Networked with other teams to create an international online community of over 600 members

  • Initiated collaborative shipping truck for SoCal teams’ materials to the Championship in Houston, TX

  • Discovered opportunities for the team and coordinated events such as community demonstrations and tours at aerospace manufacturing companies

  • Supported team outreach initiatives, including a virtual STEM panel for 500+ students in the Philippines and various other workshops

  • Edited our Technical Binder

  • Edited our Business Plan & Executive Summary

  • Interfaced with school administration, mentors, parents, and sponsors

  • Worked on publicity for recruitment, conducted interviews, and onboarded new members

team restructuring

  • Proposed and implemented new organizational structure for increased efficiency (flat → hierarchical)

  • Created the team’s first distinctive business and logistics subteams with directors

  • Implemented and established new processes for improved workflow (purchasing, part tracking, etc.)



Returning from COVID-19 quarantine, our team suffered tremendous knowledge loss. None of the remaining students had gone through a full season, and documentation was disorganized. We still managed to capitalize on our defensive strengths, bringing home our team’s first-ever regional win.

offseason training

  • Built our team’s first-ever fully new offseason robot

  • Explored new technologies such as swerve (omni-directional drive base) and limelight (computer vision)

  • Won Finalist and the Team Grant Award at an offseason competition

competition stats

  • Placed 52/76 in our Championship division

  • Regional Winner

  • Dean’s List Semi-finalist (individual)

my role

  • Frantically tried to figure out what in the world I was supposed to do

  • Networked with other teams to gain a better understanding of the robotics community

  • Onboarded new mentors to support development of technical and non-technical skills

  • Worked on publicity for recruitment, conducted interviews, and onboarded new members



We built small, Arduino-based robots in teams of 6. The competitions were held over Zoom, where one representative per group turned on their camera to show themselves driving their robot. Points were scored collecting items and placing them in bins, both autonomous and teleoperated.

my role

  • Captain, programmer, and driver of my group

  • Used C++ to map button commands and develop an autonomous routine

  • Taught fellow programmers about state machines, loops, variables, and conditionals

  • Drove our robot, placing 2nd of 7 groups

  • Organized virtual bonding events to connect with the entire team, despite our distance


I was one of 4 freshmen that were accepted to the team, but we were unable to compete due to wildfires and COVID-19.

my role


  • Used C++ to program a West Coast Drive Chassis

  • Explored our new NEO Brushless Motors with a mentor

  • Researched the color sensor

  • Self-studied for the C++ certification exam

  • Helped with event planning, both in-person and virtual — logistics through the school, booked hotels, ordered food