In the Blue Tide’s first year (2009), the programming team chose to use LabView, a graphical computer language.  But in the team’s second year, the team decided to switch to C++, a more complicated yet more liberating language that they still use to this day. The team not only makes the robot’s wheels move but also develops controls for a competition-specific manipulator and takes advantage of a variety of sensors.  (For example, in Aerial Assist, the 2014 challenge, they used an ultrasonic sensor to detect the distance between the robot and the goal and used this distance to automatically fire the ball at the correct speed.)


The electrical team is in charge of all of the electronics and the nest of wires on the robot. They must connect all essential components to the robot: the motor controllers, any extra sensors (such as potentiometers or a limit switches), and the roboRIO, the brain of the robot. While the team’s job may seem easy, all the wires must be hooked up correctly; a bad connection may result in something the team knows as “magic smoke,” which means that the once-perfect electronic is now destroyed. The team also must make sure that all the wires are neatly arranged in order to facilitate repairs.



Nicholas Currault


  • Ethan Cohen
  • David Machbitz
  • Julia Odden
  • Ethan Rosenfeld
  • Edison Siu