How Does Your Team Name Their Robot?

We had an interesting situation this year regarding how our team named our robot…interestin in that we didn’t name it. The robot named itself! Our team messaging app, Slack, applied an automated transcript to a video of Arnold driving for the first time. Despite the only noise in the video being Arnold’s motors, the following text appeared in the transcript, “Hi. My name’s Arnold.” Given that we believe in robot autonomy, we thought it was only appropriate that Arnold be able to name itself. So how does your team name their robot?


For the last couple years we accumulate a list of names through build season season and whittle the list down through votes until a last vote decides the name. This year a lot of potential names were music related with “Kat”.

My favorite possible name from last year was “…bug?”


“I like the name and also believe in robot autonomy.” -Arnold



Same name new year.

We always put out a google form for people to suggest names after our final robot is built.


I legitimately have no idea how our name this year got passed.


we use the hurricane naming system. So last year we had Rosie, and this year we have Sinatra. we also try to relate it to the game as best as possible like we chose Sinatra because of Frank Sinatra.


We have a partnership with Canadian Blood Services to highlight someone in need of a stem cell donation. We have named our robot every year after someone in need of stem cell donations. We always encourage everyone to get on the registry to be the life saving match for those in need. For all the Canadians here click here to get on the registry.



After watching the game animation, Ringo just seemed the most obvious choice.

Our kitbot build is Rango; our testbench chassis is Wrong-O.


While I was a student and then later a mentor for 1816, the robot was named prior to it being built (in the fall). Students would typically suggested names on a whiteboard and would later vote during a team meeting. (it has also been done over google form rarely)

The requirements for the name must start with the letter Z and must not be a copywritten name.

Zorgatron, Zarthan, Zerkit, Zeus, Zazu, Zeebo, Zephyr, Zed, Zeak, Zebruh, Zenith, Zeppline, ZZ-Bot, Zeta, Zodiac, Zodiac-Swerve, Zap, Zero, (and I think this years is Zen?)


our main debate this year was between a couple sets of names (practice/main bot):
Al Dente/Andante (won a teamwide poll, not being used by anyone really right now)
A#/Bb (this one got put on our poster for Hueneme and was used for judge talking)
B flat gang wants to keep the poster the same for SDR, Andante gang wants to change it


It seems like the trend is going away in favor of continual improvement on the same robot, but we always build a practice/alpha bot first. So we like names where the comp bot name works on it’s own, but when paired with the practice bot name, that no one will ever know about, is also funny or an inside joke. I try to steer them away from typical “cool” names because they’re just too generic. We had a kid pitch Sidewinder every year until he graduated.


2019: Flip and Flop
2020: Orion and O’Blake (two main build leads were Ryan and Blake)
2022: Viper and Ekans
2023: Updraft and Downfall (because it bonked our programmer on the head)

Most years we just pitch them out as we work on it through the weeks, and when the right one hits, we all know it. This year we never really had that and had to take a formal vote on it.


Last year our grabber looked like it belonged on Francis Xavier Clampozzo, so Clamps was the robot’s name. This year we wanted to keep with the music theme and went with Staccato.

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downfall was downfall for… reasons


Random stuff that ends in “ER”, includes:
Dexter (while it is a coincidence, it has a pretty dexterous arm IMO)
Jester (the aptly named 2910 clone)
Doppler (my personal favorite, given the meaning and the robot’s speed)


That’s a pretty high bar. For fun, check your list against Trademark Search (

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Any funny moments in the year.
Like a member called another member “pipsqueak” as a joke, and we thought it was so funny that we decided to name the bot that. It makes it more personal and funny.

Our team’s tradition is to have the seniors pick the name! Kind of like leaving behind a legacy or smthn. It usually follows the theme of the game as well.

Last year we made two robots (So software and hardware could both have something to work on) named Phobos and Deimos, after Mars’s two moons. Didn’t really follow a theme but they were very beloved robots.

This year our robot has two names: (Not really sure what happened there but I like the names) Orpheus and Atlas. Orpheus was an idea because he’s the greek god of music, and idk where Atlas came from but I think it’s pretty cool too.


I don’t have a lot of insight pre-2022, but I know for the past three seasons we’ve given our robot a female name (Susan, Rosie, Harley Quinn)

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G Minor