UFH: Travis Covington

Thread created automatically to discuss UFH Honoree: Travis Covington.


Name: Travis Covington
Date Honored: 03-31-2005
Years involved w/FIRST: 8
FIRST Team(s): NASA &, West Covina High School (0968), Monster Cable/Retrevo &, Monta Vista High School (0115)
Role: Mentor
Quote: A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. - Douglas Adams
Bio: Travis Covington has a long history in FIRST. This being his 8th year in the program, he was a former student on Team #115, and now serves as a mentor for Team #968. Travis is well-known in west coast FIRST robotics, and his reputation is unmatched.

Travis is very humble about the awards he has received while in the FIRST program. “I cannot really say I accomplished much of anything myself, however, with the help of the students, fellow mentors, and teachers our team has accomplished many great things. Awards and recognition are nice, and I can always say I am proud of our rookie performance, and our regional win and finalist awards etc. In reality, at the end of the day I am most proud of the doing something worthwhile, something that benefits more than me. Overall, I think the greatest thing I accomplished while in FIRST was simply doing the same thing that the mentors at my High School did for me and our team.”

Travis also has a pretty inspiring view of FIRST, and the memories he has of years past. “There are lots of memories both good and bad that always come to mind. All of the good ones involve people, and all of the bad ones include a robot in some way or another. It makes me realize just how trivial the robot is in FIRST, when the good memories don’t always occur when the robot succeeds. FIRST really is not as much about the robots as it is about the people you meet, the things you learn, and the experiences you gain along the way.” Travis also said, “My most memorable moments have to be those where I could truly see an impact being made on myself, fellow students, or the students I mentored. No specific memory strikes me as being a favorite, but more and more recently I remember past events and build seasons and recall that some of the best, most enjoyable times I had were during the build season at the robotics lab with the other students and mentors doing nothing extraordinary or memorable, but just having fun.”

Travis also had some fun advice for all FIRSTers. “List the reasons why you personally are on a FIRST team, if the list doesn’t include “because it is fun”, add it! None of us should be doing this if we are not having fun. If a day goes by where you weren’t laughing or having a good time at some point during day, take a look at the reasons why and try and change them. We all know how stressful things can get, but we cannot take it too seriously and must always strive to enjoy the ride.”

Thanks and congratulations to Travis Covington, our next Unsung FIRST Hero.

Nominated By: Bill Gold

Congratulations to Travis Covington for being honored as our next Unsung FIRST Hero.

You’re a lifesaver. :slight_smile:

Congrats, Travis.

I was lucky enough to finally meet you last week, and I wish I had earlier.

You are very deserving of this honor.

Travis, Big UPs! Jigga props, whatever u want to call it. You are well deserved. You are my personal hero in FIRST. Honestly, you have helped me out a lot in the last couple of year with all the technical stuff and its great fun talking to you about robotics and other things. You are very gifted and most of all a very nice person to know.
I wish you best of luck in future where ever you are.
Congrats and Good Luck at the LA regional. I support 968 all the way.

I have been lucky enough to see you at many SCRRF and FIRST events, congrats on all your work in FIRST.

Heh. I don’t have to tell you how much great work you’ve done. Congratulations, dude. You deserve it.

I hope 968 cleans house, tomorrow and Saturday. :wink:

Congratulations Travis,
I like your view on having fun in the program. I never think of it because I am having so much fun. Thanks for all you have done.

I’m with Al on the “having fun” idea. I know its on my list right after “Because robots are FREAKING COOL” when i tell people why i do this.

I dont know you personaly but reading your honoree page, i can see why your an unsung FIRST hero. Congrats.

Well deserved. Keep up the good work. You ask anyone on 968 “how were yuou guys able to come up with such a cool robot” and they all point at Travis and say “it’s his fault” :slight_smile:

Congratulations Travis. I’m very glad to see you finally being recognized for all the hard work that you have done over the years, and will continue to do in the future. You, Kirk, Justin and Kevin do amazing work down there on such a meager budget, and it was a pleasure to stay with you guys this past week. I was very impressed with the quality of your robot this year (as with your robots in past years), and I thought you guys were robbed of a technical award, especially since it was your only event. I feel very fortunate to have known you. Thank you for being a beacon of what other college students who put time back into FIRST should aspire to be like. Thanks for being such a good friend. Take it easy, man, and enjoy this.

Congrats Travis…you are so on my list of people to meet! :]

congrads to another great person in the FIRST community!!

Congrats Travis, never had a chance to meet you, but hopefully will in the near future.

Congrats Travis Very well deserved with out you man the team would of never got off the ground let alone have the success that its had thus far Thank you very much for all your help through the years I applaud you :cool: :cool:


Much as I hate to admit it, Travis is a huge help to 968. He’s also insane. He did most of the work on the 4-speed gearboxes we have, and he has this addiction to chrome, polish and powder coat. There were many a night during the pre-season where I would go into his room at 2 a.m. to find him yelling at his computer, working out the details of our drivetrain. From spacing to the gear ratios, it was Travis, with a little help here and there. He really put a lot of time into those things, and they came out beautifully.

Travis has an obsession with making the robot look clean. In addition, we all feel strongly about making sure the robot works properly before we get to the pretty stuff. These values drive Travis to design a good robot, then keep redesigning it until it is perfect. If he weren’t so crazy, 968 would really have difficulty getting a robot done on time. Without him, we wouldn’t enjoy the reputation he’s helped us earn, and we would have saved thousands on Mother’s Polishing Compound.

Design, Fabrication, Wiring, Welding, (Arguing with Kevin… :rolleyes: ), Competition, Ordering T-Shirts, Driving stuff to the welders when Kirk and I had class, or really didn’t want to… Travis works best under intense pressure, and when he works, he doesn’t take any prisoners. The Devil is in the details, but so is Travis. He’s got the most follow-through on the team, and that really saved our bacon this year.

He’s also the one who roped me into this whole robotics thing. Back on team 115, He got me to show up for the design part, and got me in on 968 when the team was in its infancy. It’s been a good experience so far. I remember back in high school, when Travis was a sophomore on team 115. one week into the competition, he showed me a sketch of what he wanted the robot to look like. By the end of that build season, the robot resembled his drawing pretty well. He went on to be the mechanical director of 115, and designed a robot that won the national championship.

Down here at Cal Poly Pomona, he was hell bent on starting a team. We met Kirk in the fall our freshman year, then met Scott, the owner of Cityware.com owner. They started having meetings, and got Bob Anderson and WCHS on board. Next thing I knew, the kickoff rolled around, and we were building. Travis was, is, and will be a key player for team 968. The team has been successful because of his contributions, and will hopefully be able to reach out to help spread the inspiration FIRST promotes.

On behalf of Team 968, Thank you to Travis Covington, and also to Kirk Oden, Travis’s partner in crime. (Kirk is our “fabricant extraordinaire,” and also does a whole lot.)

Congratulations Travis.

Awesome what you do for your team and for FIRST all over!.

I fondly remember meeting Travis for the first time at the 2002 Southern Cal Regional. RAWC was a rookie, but they sure did not look like it. They had a fantastic looking robot that was very capable of winning. They have only improved.

Travis is one of the best young designers in FIRST. He takes risks in design and is always striving to learn. His designs are clean, efficient, and they WORK.

Kudos to Travis. He has great skills. :slight_smile:

Andy B.

Congratulations Travis and thanks for partnering with us in S. Calif. We were close, so close, and it was great fun.

You and your whole team have a class act, and we are always excited to see your latest creations.

Coming from one of his own team members, this might be a biased opinion, but without Travis, our team wouldn’t function. Our work area would look like what most of our rooms look like, and mine has it’s own climate, ecosystem, and fossil record. Travis is the driving force behind RAWC, and many times, he’s the reason the robot works.

Travis does get mad easily, but it’s because no one seems to care as much as he does (if we all did, there would be well over 2,000 teams). Travis gets mad because of lack of organization, effort, and sleep. He deserves this award because he’s the one standing behind the drivers, screaming at them to do something 5 seconds before it’s needed.

Travis (Along with Kirk) has done everything humanly possible to help this team, and he would do more if he could go more than 48 hours without sleep.