Bidding on the Cybersonics Technology Team’s “Name Our Robot” eBay fundraiser ended on February 11th, with a final bid of $127.50. The winner was Kyle J. of FIRST team 1610; he decided on the name Echo Charlie for 103’s 2012 Rebound Rumble Robot.
The name carries quite an interesting story with it, going all the way back to 2004 - the year Kyle joined his high school team, 616, which founded team 1610 in a neighboring high school soon after. The teams remained friendly and worked collaboratively through the 2005 season. The following year, however, the school board backing 616 withdrew their support, causing the team to collapse. Kyle then joined 1610 as a mentor to continue pursuing the passions he discovered with 616.
Kyle began volunteering at a regional competition and met another volunteer; Cynthia. The two built a strong relationship during their multiple seasons together as they worked in tandem on field construction , reset, repair, and other tasks. Years later, Cynthia led a class at a Vex robotics camp, in which her students began to call her ‘C’, for her name. They soon connected the name to the programming language they were learning, Easy C, and altered the nickname to EC. Soon after, it morphed into Echo Charlie, hence the name of the robot.
This friend is particularly important to Kyle; he wanted to honor her with this tribute. 103 mentors and students really connected with his story and agreed wholeheartedly to use the name. Many students on the team form bonds like the one between Kyle and Cynthia. They are friendships that no one forgets, even many years after the time they spend on FIRST teams. Mentors of Cybersonics often refer to the team as a “big family” and it is the absolute truth. Students on the team work with each other for a tremendous portion of the day, and it is commonplace for the students and mentors of FIRST teams to befriend each other in ways very deep and indelible.
Written by Luke C.