Investing in the Future of STEM: Riverside Research Sponsors Fresta Valley Robotics Club

Jun 05, 2024

The future of national security rests upon the next generation of American innovation: bright minds who can create and iterate robust systems and solutions.

Investing in the Future of STEM: Riverside Research Sponsors Fresta Valley Robotics Club -

In support of this critical need, Riverside Research is proud to sponsor the Fresta Valley Robotics Club (Team 1731), a team of students who builds robots and uses them to compete against other teams. During the competitions, robots need to perform set tasks – some autonomously, or without human intervention, and others while controlled by the team.

As participants in F.I.R.S.T., the team competes locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally with their robot, Low Rider. To place in the multi-level competition, each team-made robot must function for the first fifteen seconds of the competition, without human intervention. Then, the students step in and help the robot get to work, performing various tasks assigned at random during the competition, such as retrieving and scoring game pieces, avoiding other robots, performing defense, and cooperating with other robots on their alliance.

Fresta Valley Robotics Club
Fresta Valley Robotics Club with trophy

Prior to competing, the team collaborates to research materials, build, and test the robot. Between each competition, the students work diligently to improve Low Rider for the next competition.

The team’s hard work paid off.

After two initial wins in separate district events, the team placed first in the First Chesapeake District Robotics Championship. The team, which was co-mentored by Riverside Research Vice President, Sensors and Systems, Tim Waltz, made mechanical reliability enhancements and software improvements and increased the robot’s autonomous function capabilities between events.

“This team is full of bright minds and their record is outstanding,” commented Waltz, who travels with the team to competitions. “They learn fast, have fun, and work hard.”

Fresta Valley Robotics Club Wins District Championships
Fresta Valley Robotics Club Wins District Championships

Low Rider’s autonomous routine has been programmed and improved by student David Samy, who is now a Riverside Research intern. Fresta Valley Robotics Club received two Autonomous Awards and placed strongly in their first three competitions of the year. They finished up the year at finals in Austin, Texas.

At Riverside Research, we believe in the importance of investing in the future of STEM, and sponsoring this creative, successful team is one of several ways we are able to contribute to students’ STEM success.