We are TorBots FRC Team 1197, a FIRST Robotics Competition team from Torrance, California. Founded by South High wood-shop teacher Michael Ellena in 2002, TorBots has spread to all four Torrance area high schools: South High, North High, West High, and Torrance High. TorBots’ mission is to promote gracious professionalism, improve teamwork skills, and spread knowledge of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) topics to high school students in the Torrance area.
The team consists of about 70 members representing all four high schools. All of the team’s senior members have gone on to college, with many pursuing a degree in engineering. Most of TorBots’ active members return year after year for what they consider to be an experience like no other.
The TorBots received the Regional Finalist Award in 2004 at the Southern California Regional and 2009 at the Las Vegas Regional. In 2010, our integration of special Infrared sensors earned us the Creativity Award at the Los Angeles Regional. Additionally, Mentor Bruce Ioki was the recipient of the Regional Woodie Flowers Award at the 2009 Los Angeles Regional. In 2011, the team won their first regional (the 2011 Los Angeles Regional) and advanced to the FIRST World Championships in St.Louis, Missouri.
The TorBots have been featured in the Daily Breeze, the Chinese Daily News, KTTV FOX 11 in Los Angeles, and has also received a proclamation from the City of Torrance for our achievements. The team has also appeared in Raytheon’s 2007 Annual Stewardship Report as part of their community involvement program.