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Vail BoxerBots

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The FIRST Robotics Challenge (FRC)

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Vail Academy & High School
Home of the BoxerBots

  • 2022 Season Is Upon Us

    16 April, 2022

    Yes, I'm way behind on this season's updates. We've been busy. We barely completed a functional robot before we headed off to the AZ North Regional. The students hadn't had any time to get the controls in hand before practice matches. Inspections went smooth. Robot operations, not so much. We had a lot of difficulties in Flagstaf, but they were excellent learning experiences. Our qualification matches didn't go well, at all. We ended up in 36th of 36. We did, however, win our last match and the team celebrated loudly, as did I.

    The students took what they learned at AZ North and applied it to Leland, picking back up the dedicated pace they carried in build season. They fixed autonomous, adjusted the shoot angle and power, and added climbing to the list of Leland's capabilities. Utah ended up going better than planned. While we suffered a little during qualifications, it wasn't for lack of capabilities from the robot. We were hitting 7 balls a game, and continually improving. We were also able to climb for each match.

    This garnered attention for our abilities, and we were selected into finals by the 2nd seed alliance. Our alliance made it to finals. We had to call in the backup for semi-finals, having destroyed our bumpers. We were able to repair them, but not in the time allotted. Needless to say, we were ecstatic about making it as far as we did. What we weren't expecting was to receive a wildcard invitation to World Championships. So, we are now loaded and ready for our trip after a week of craziness around the logistics to get there.

    Vail Academy and High School bent over backwards to help coordinate and get us to Houston. Caterpillar came through with the registration payment. The Vail community came through with extra funding. Vail District Transportation came thorugh with repairing the school van when we discovered the catalytic converter was stolen. Wow... So, through it all, the students have maintained a positive attitude and remain excited for the trip and the competition.


    25 February, 2022

    We have made good progress in the last week. We have also had a savior step forward. Our X-Carve was having fits with our aluminum pieces and ruined one in two separate cuts of it. We reached out to a friend who has access to a machine shop. Raytheon's Bike Shop stepped up once again and one of the individuals spent his off-time cutting several parts out with the water-jet machine. They look beautiful and, of course, fit perfect.

    We will be assembling some of those pieces today, but I think we are going to paint several of them today before assembling them. Our goal for this weekend is to complete the hopper, shooter, and intake before the end of our time tomorrow. It's a bit ambitious for our track record this season, but I think we can get there. Right now we're starting to get very excited for our trip to Flagstaff.


    19 February, 2022

    Hello all. As you can imagine, we have been busy as bees trying to make progress on our robot. We are currently taking a break for Vail Pride Day and reconnecting with our community. It will be a great day, allowing folks to drive our robots again. We showed up with no code on most of them, having needed to reflash the roboRIOs with the 2022 firmware. The programming team is working hard to get them all up and running again and ready for folks.


    22 January, 2022

    Hello everyone. It's been a while since I've posted. A lot has happened. Obviously the game reveal! Awesome in my own opinion. Still wrapping my head around no cap on robot build total. We'll see what that brings to competition. At kickoff we got the robot concept done, as desired. In the first week we got the drive-train assembled, design begun, and programming in work. Design pulled the drivetrain CAD down from Andymark. We got the basis of the hopper and shooter put in, as well as some pick-up placement.

    The whole second week (1/17 thru 1/21) the team was off due to COVID contact, so that wiped out 16 hours of build. We will be looking at extending the next several Saturdays to make up the time. We did that today and it seemed to work well. We got a lot of the mock hub pieces cut out and are putting together the attachment plate. Should be done before we leave today.

    For design, we also got the hopper finished and most of the pick-up arm solved. We need to protoype a couple of things to prove functionality, but we're doing well on that. Next step is to introduce the team to a task board to track tasks and progress. Hopefully we will not get hit by COVID again, but our current recovery plan should have us on track. The goal is to have a functioning robot for reveal at Vail Pride Day.


    27 November, 2021

    Hello. I have a couple of bits of news to put out today. The first is that we will be holding a parent info meeting on 11 December, 2021 in the VAHS MPR. This will run from 8 to 9am in parallel with our normal meeting. This will give me the opportunity to relay pertinent information about the upcoming build and competition seasons, and give parents the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.

    The second is that we will be attending VailFest as a vendor on Saturday, Dec 4th. Come one, come all, check out the local vendors, as well as our robotics team. I believe I heard there will be over 140 vendors out there at the Pima County Fairgrounds. Make sure to set aside some time between 9am and 4pm to check it out and take a stroll. There is a $5 parking fee, I hear, so be ready for that. There is, however, no admission fee.

    Lastly, the FunPasta fundraiser is coming to a close very soon. We're only a little over halfway to our goal for this season. Help support your BoxerBots and get a great gift or a fun past for yourself.


    13 November, 2021

    The new season is here. We are almost done with pre-season training with the students. We are working with a smaller team than I have had in the past, but I believe we are in a good place. Currently 10 members are participating. This has benefits as well as drawbacks. Not as many hands to do the work, but a more focused core. I am excited about this upcoming season's competitions. Kick-off is coming as quickly as 8 Jan, 2021.

    I know we have been pitifully behind on any updates via this site, but we've had some complications. We have switched hosting providers and will hopefully see some better success there. We have also potentially picked up someone willing to focus on this site and our social media (hooray!!).

    With that, I will say, good luck to us, and we intend to meet all of our new challenges head-on! We are beginning the end of our pre-season with a fundraiser. If you are interested in checking it out and potentially supporting the BoxerBots, please follow this link. We would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.


    27 July, 2021

    The new season is upon us! FRC's game, RAPID REACTSM, brought to you by the Boeing Company, is the latest in the line of FIRST games to challenge us. This season we are back to learning all of the right things in the pre-season because we have a real build season coming up, in which we will have to produce a competition-ready robot in just a couple of months.

    As always, we are excited to provide this opportunity to showcase our abilities to our sponsors, our parents, our schools, our teammates, but mostly to prove to ourselves that we can accomplish such a feat. Here is a taste of what may be to come.


    News Archive

  • VAHS and FIRST

    For the 2021-22 season, The BoxerBots will be comprised of students from Vail Academy and High School and Mica Mountain for grades 9 through 12, and any middle school (for 8th grade) in the Vail School District, hosted by the VAHS and sponsored by CATERPILLAR, Inc.

    Our Old Team brochure (currently in work)

    How to Join


    Scholarships and Awards

    Learn about the awards and scholarships you can get in the FRC robotics competition and team.

    More Information

    Build Season Meals

    • We are looking for parents to sign up. Please use the link emailed to you. Thank you.