VRAD Testimonials

VRAD Team 57001A, The Vikatrons from North Arlington High School in North Arlington, NJ, and their coach Emily Pontius shared their VRAD experience.

What makes VRAD unique?
I don't know the company itself too well but the fact it sponsors virtual events is unique especially when students like me are voided of our usual in-person routine. Because all things are virtual, competitions can be spanned worldwide, which is an astonishing feat.
How has VRAD brought you and your team together?
VRAD has brought me and my team together by giving us a doable objective. Because there are three people on each team. Jobs can include driving, coding, and communicating with opponent teams while the two previous positions are busy during matches. Truly, VRAD is open to all people regardless of coding and mechanical backgrounds.
Describe the experience of a VRAD competition match and/or the experience of setting up your team?
For early competitions, some of the members, including, were worried about what is to come in case of a loss. Eventually, we got the groove and several strategies to combat most opponents, and recent matches are now a niche. In setting up the team, there are only a few qualified candidates left in the club for one team so setting up our team was quick and easy.

Gerard Nifras

What makes VRAD unique?
VRAD is unique because it seems like the only appropriate robotics thing to do for students who are confined due to quarantine. While VRC and other competitions are still happening, doing these physical competitions virtually seems quite awkward. However, something like VRAD can naturally be done virtually because that’s how it’s supposed to be done.
How has VRAD brought you and your team together?
Our team had been physically separated due to quarantine. There was little to no hope that we would do a competition this year. However, VRAD changed that by offering an appropriate alternative.
Describe the experience of a VRAD competition match and/or the experience of setting up your team?
Typically in a match we try to get into the lobby as soon as possible. If our opponent has come, we watch the clock, reminding our driver what color we are on through the Google Meet on which our driver streams our games to the rest of the team live. Then the driver quickly imports the appropriate code and we inform him whether it actually imported. Then he starts moving the robot and we advise him what to do from there.

Umair Khan

What makes VRAD unique?
After the whole lockdown situation, VRAD gave us a chance to continue working within our club in an effective and manageable manner. Having these competitions be virtual has allowed us and other teams to become part of a community situated around the country.
How has VRAD brought you and your team together?
The competitions allow our team to communicate in regards to the strategy to go for in the current game. On top of that, there is a great amount of communication in and out of meets, primarily for the coding aspects of the game. Giving ideas to one another as to how to better improve the code, as well as how to improve our play style.
Describe the experience of a VRAD competition match and/or the experience of setting up your team?
Being in a VRAD competition match is about time management, observation, and most importantly, communication. As we start each match, our team has to keep these three things in mind to improve our strategy; making sure no time is wasted at certain locations, keeping track of the opponents drones, especially their locations, and talking within our team to check what could be the next best possible action to take.

Fausto Martinez-Escobar

Coach Emily Pontius

I've just a few things to add, as my three-person team deserves the focus. Overall, it has been a positive experience being on this first-time voyage, and we are so glad to have something to do since we are not able to work on robots this year.
This team is made-up of three 12th graders who have all knit together their different talents to have a very successful run so far. One of them is an experienced coder, one a gamer, and the third is good at organization and troubleshooting. Since they are a mature team, my job as a coach/mentor has been one of the facilitator: registering them for matches, setting up Meets, and providing moral support and cheering from the sidelines.
One point I'd like to make is that it has been a good learning experience, as it has provided a window into the world of multiplayer game development. We are grateful that Robotify and REC have taken our suggestions and feedback seriously, resulting in an improvement for all. It has been interesting for all to see how the whole experience itself has been a team effort in a way.
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