Atascadero High’s robotics team seeks donations to help with expenses of competing at the event

ATASCADERO — Atascadero High School’s Greybots are gearing up to compete at the FIRST 2022 FRC Championships in Houston, Texas, from April 20-23. The team will be returning as the reigning champions after their last win in 2019.

“This will be the first championship since 2019, so the team is technically still reigning champs,” said Greybots Fabrication and Scouting Lead Marvin Velazquez. “It is an honor to be a participant in the event since only 400 of about 4,000 teams are able to attend. It’s an amazing opportunity to meet people from all around the world, discover job outlooks, and attend engineering-related workshops.” 

This year, the Greybots team is made up of 19 students. 


“Eight students started this year. We have five students that have been on the team since the 2019 season, and the remaining started for the 2020 season,” said Charlotte Maples, the Greybots team manager. “The 2020 season was canceled, and 2021 was fully remote, so most students are brand new.” 

Recently, the Greybots competed in the Central Valley Regionals in Fresno, which were held from March 30 through April 2. 

“The team ranked second in qualification matches and paired up with Madtown Robotics, from Madera, California, and Uni-Rex, from Sanger, California, for playoffs to win the competition,” Maples said. “Additionally, we won the Excellence in Engineering award, which celebrates the team that demonstrates a professional approach to the design process.” 

The Greybots have been a part of Atascadero High School since the 2002 season. On top of 12 regional wins, they have also won World Championships in 2011, 2017, and 2019. This year, the team created a brand new robot named Wildfire to compete in the FRC 2022 game Rapid React.

“In this game, our robot shoots into the upper hub, an 8-foot-tall funnel, and we can shoot over 20 balls each game,” Maples said. “At the beginning of each game, there is a 15-second autonomous period, during which we are able to fly across the field to shoot up to 5 balls.

“We use our turret to face the goal at all times from almost anywhere on the field, which optimizes our shooting capabilities. We spend the last 10 seconds of the game climbing on the hangar, monkey bar-like bars that increase in height. The rules limit how tall a robot can be to about the height of the second bar, but we’re able to swing onto the third bar. Wildfire, a 125-pound robot, is as quick and strong as a raging flame.” 

The Greybots are asking the community for donations to help with expenses attached to competing at the 2022 FIRST Championships. 

“Due to the pandemic, donations have greatly decreased, and costs for travel expenses have increased,” Maples said. “Expenses to the team include vehicle rentals, airfare costs, hotel costs, as well as food for 31 people. Any donation will help alleviate some of the cost to the team and help them concentrate on just the competition. The team is currently hosting a raffle to help raise money for the Houston Championship at”

Your donations will enter you into a drawing to win a $500 Vanilla Visa Gift Card, which was donated by California Meridian Insurance Agency in Atascadero.