System Overload Robotics — September 2020 Newsletter, COVID-19 Special Edition

Hey SOR family!

COVID-19 threw a wrench in a lot of our plans, but our team at System Overload Robotics — FRC 6059 — is pumped up and ready to go for the next year! A lot’s been going on in the past few months as we’ve been adjusting to a new — primarily virtual — landscape, but our team has persevered. We’ve elected a new board, said goodbye to all of our seniors, started new subteams, and are now meeting weekly on Discord!

We’re excited to work with all of you to ensure that the next year of FRC is going to be great!


Updates from FRC in terms of competition:

On March 12, 2020, FRC made the difficult decision to suspend the rest of the 2019-2020 season, with safety always being one of their top priorities. Our team acquiesced and almost immediately started working full-on virtually.

The 2020-2021 FRC season will allow us to continue working on our robot from this year to use in next year’s competition. Any robot legal for competition this year will be legal for competition next year. We could technically show up to competition next year with the same robot . . . but we’re going to continue working to make ours better!

New team board:

The new SOR Board assumed their positions on June 16, 2020. They consist of:

The team’s new bylaws will officially go into place on September 7, 2020. The new bylaws define a board with seven voting members; the President, Business Director, Treasurer, and Secretary in addition to three mentors. The board must pass all amendments to our bylaws by a ⅔ majority vote. Board meetings take place twice a month on alternate Tuesdays. All members of the team are welcomed to join in on these meetings and offer their input.

General team changes:

We’ve had to say goodbye to quite a few members this season! We’ve alternatively gained a fair share of alumni and are happily growing our SOR community.

When we resume all our usual meetings we will all meet at the Livermore Municipal Airport. We will no longer be meeting at The Switch, now known as Daybreak Labs.

Safety has always been a priority for our team — we’ve won the official FRC safety award with our ‘take a break, hydrate’ campaign — and we’re looking forward to continuing that legacy. Nalin Verma has been designated as our new Safety Captain and will be leading our safety team. Nalin will work with our entire team to ensure that when we go back to work on our robot we will abide by state-set guidelines in terms of PPE and social distancing. Our team has already started having great discussions about budgeting for masks and gloves. We are also currently in the process of organizing a committee to welcome new members smoothly into our team.

The 2020 Build Season!

This year’s season ended before its time, but we were still able to make some awesome memories! This was the first year we used our hangar at the Livermore Municipal Airport to work on our robot. Our programming team worked hard alongside our manufacturers on different subsystems, our research and development team created a thorough plan for the robot, and our marketing plan got ready to go to competition! Even though we didn’t end up making it, a lot of the fun is in the way our team bonds as we work through build season.

Working in a hangar for the first time was an interesting challenge, but we made it work! Here, Taeo Clark, Nathan Woolsey, and Basil Khwaja work on prepping for our competition!

Our 2020 robot!

Our amazing team parents working on building practice field pieces!

Interview with our new President — Palak Guleria:

Palak’s been on the team since she was a freshman and she’s now a junior. She’s been the team’s programming second and head of programming, and she’ll be taking over as President next year while also continuing to work hands-on with the robot!

Hey Palak! Why did you want to become President of SOR?

What’s your experience with the team been like so far?

What’s your favorite part of being on the team?

What are you looking forward to most for the next year?

How’s the team going to approach the COVID-19 problem?

Interview with one of our new Head Mentors — Liz Simonovich:

Liz is new to the team and will be working with our business, outreach, and leadership subgroups, along with general mentorship. She’s been on an FRC team before and we’re all looking forward to working with her and her expertise this next season!

Hi Liz! Why did you join SOR specifically?

What's your experience been like with FIRST in the past? Why did you want to become a mentor?

What's been most challenging about working with a team during COVID-19?

What are you looking forward to most in the next season?

Interview with one of our new Alumni — Hardit Singh:

Hardit has been with SOR for his entire high school career. In the past year he was a vital part of both the Research & Development and Marketing teams. He’ll be attending Cal Poly SLO this year, and although we’ll miss him we’re excited to see what his future holds!

Hello Hardit! Why did you join SOR specifically?

What was your favorite part of the team experience? What are you going to miss?

How are you going to use your experience on the team to help you further in life and college?

Any advice for new team members?

If you want to get more involved with our team, let us know! We’re always happy to have new members and mentors.

Thank you for your support and interest as a part of our family. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email at

Keep on track with us throughout the next few months by following us on social media:

Instagram @frc6059


    — Your friends on team #6059