John Holbrook, a senior at Huntington High School, has been involved with competetive robotics in some capacity since 2008, first by participating in the FIRST LEGO League, then as a mentor for FLL teams, and now as part of BACKDRIVE. Outside of the world of VEX Robotics, John enjoys tinkering with the LEGO® Mindstorms line of robots (particularly ev3dev on the EV3), sailing, playing the viola, and tinkering with web design, including writing most of and administrating all of this site.
Adam Cordingley, a senior at Huntington High School, became interested in VEX competitive robotics in 2012. Since then, this interest has only grown. Outside of VEX Robotics, Adam enjoys tinkering with Arduino microcontrollers and with C++ programming, playing the clarinet, and tropical fish keeping.
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BACKDRIVE was first concieved in the fall of 2013, when Adam approched John about initiating what he termed a "robotics interest group." The two soon began meeting and attempted to design and build a robot to compete in the 2013-2014 VRC game, Toss Up. However, neither of them really knew what they were doing, and the robot they built was simultaneousley over-ambitious and poorly excecuted. Having started late in the season and working to tight time constraints, they failed to have a functional robot ready in time for the state competition. The two resolved to regroup the following fall.
In September of 2014 John and Adam, now joined by Alex, began design and construction of a new robot for use in the 2014-2015 VRC game, Skyrise. In January of 2015 the team attended their first tournament in Parkersburg, WV. After ranking 2nd overall and allyng with the first-ranked and much more experienced team 4112A, the team, then known as "HighlandersRC," were named Tournament Champions and won the Sportsmanship award.
The team attended their next tournament, the West Virginia State Championship, in February of 2015. Unfortunately, a larger, more competitive tournament, combined with a somewhat unlucky qualification match pairing and some intermittent connectivity issues, meant that the team would be ranked 14th, and would captian the 8th seeded alliance, partnering with team 1634B and losing in the quarterfinals to the first seeded alliance consisting of 6815B and 235.
Following the tournament, the team began to regroup and prepare for next season, including soliciting new members, choosing a proper team name and establishing a website, ordering additional parts (including pneumatics, an LCD, and mecanum wheels!), and building an experimental robot in order to become familiar with these parts.
In the fall of 2016 BACKDRIVE began work on their Nothing But Net robot, and they plan to attend their forst Tournament of the season in January 2016.