Founded in 2013, we are Team 5338 - better known as RoboLoCo. We are a FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC) team competing in the Chesapeake District and the only FRC team in Loudoun County. RoboLoCo, team 5338, is one of several thousand FRC teams across the globe. FRC, is the highest level of FIRST competitions, above FLL (4th - 8th grade) and FTC (7th - 12th grade). FIRST, a nonprofit organization, releases a new game every year for us to participate in, and teams get six weeks to build a robot to compete with, fitting with the organization’s mission to inspire young people to be leaders in the fields of Science and Technology, by engaging them in exciting student-based programs that involve problem solving, creativity, and analytical reasoning. For more information about FIRST and FRC, refer to https://www.firstinspires.org/.
RoboLoCo stands for Robotics Loudoun County. A lot of people think the “loco” just means crazy, because of our slogan: “driving you crazy.” This year will be our sixth competition season. Many teams know us because of our 2015 season, where we advanced to the world level competition then had our van stolen in Tennessee, with our robot inside of it. With help from many teams and individuals, we were able to make a new robot right in time for the competition, and our original robot turned up in the woods shortly afterwards. To this day if you Google “robot stolen” we’re in the top results!
Team 5338 represents students from the Academies of Loudoun. Participating in our FRC robotics team will have lasting effects on students’ lifetime. Members learn to use the engineering design process, Onshape, and various industrial tools. Our controls team members learn to program in Java and wire an electrical board. Meanwhile, in our business sector, students learn money management, advertising, and communication skills.
This season, the competition is DEEP SPACE, an out-of-this-world challenge where teams must collect cargo balls and hatch panels and transport them to rockets for takeoff. RoboLoCo will be competing at two district events, Week 1 in Haymarket and Week 3 in Oxon Hill.
RoboLoCo is committed to giving back in our community because of the immense support we have been given. We mentor FLL teams, work with boy and girl scouts, and conduct demonstrations at elementary school STEM symposiums. The effort of our team members not only goes towards building a fantastic robot, but also to the mentoring and teaching of younger STEM enthusiasts. Impacting not only the younger generation, we have spoken with Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner as well as demonstrated our robot at the annual Orbital ATK picnic.
RoboLoCo is a fast growing, innovative team inspiring STEM in our community. We look forward to many more successful seasons, developing new and unique ideas through teamwork, and learning more about robotics.