Vrinda Bansal: “I spend 25 hours a week at robotics, my life revolves around it. The school robotics team is not the ideal place [for women] so I started my own robotics team over the summer. One of the biggest hurdles was getting the self-confidence to do it, to be like ‘I can do this, I can lead my own team’. The other challenge that we faced was funding. It’s a big thing because in robotics it’s metal and it’s electronics so obviously it’s going to be really expensive. For other teams, they are sponsored by their school so their school gives them funding, but since we’re completely private a lot of funding was needed. Most teams have around seven members on average so we are lacking two members, but we compensate for that because everyone is super dedicated. Everyone does 10-12 hours a week. Everybody being an all-rounder definitely helps us pull through with that too.
We run an apprenticeship program which is completely free of cost. They come in and they just watch us, and they learn and they build. I think that’s a really big part of who we are as a team because it’s not just about competitions for us, it’s about helping the next generation.”