Club Spotlight: Robotics

Robotics club will be participating in several competitions this year starting with Capitol Best.


Danielle Bell

While waiting for competition to start, students built and controlled a pom-pom toting robot. They displayed it during the homecoming pep rally along with a remote controlled car.

by Natalie Ditsler, Staff Writer

The Robotics club had their first competition, Capitol BEST , on campus on Saturday, September 12th. During this, the Robotics club learned what they will be doing for the competition and what the field will be like. The test drive is on the third of October. Practice day is on the 17th of October and the 24th is the competition at Westwood. The challenge is called Paydirt. Officers are President junior Buddy McBroom, junior Jeremy Redden is in charge of construction, junior Chris Cecchini for electricity, and junior Kember Campbell for marketing.

“The scenario is that there’s a company that bought a mine that’s very rich in ore but it’s very dangerous. So people can’t go into it,” Sponsor Mr.Wasson said. “They want companies to design a robot that can go in and mine the ore and repair the mine. So our challenge is to create a robot that can perform a series of tasks within the mine.”

The field is a set of four quadrants that represent the tunnels of the mine and gets smaller as it goes. To represent the different ores they must mine in these tunnels they have an assortment of bouncy balls, golf balls and a box of pbc pipes. These represent coal, magna, and copper.

“There’s a pipe that needs repair, an air filter that needs replacing. There’s lithium crystals to harvest and core samples to bring back. Then you have three minutes to choose what you’re gonna do. But there’s a twist,” Mr. Wasson said. “Before the wild card round they’re going to run an economic algorithm that if a lot of coal is being harvested but not a lot of lithium, then the prices will change and the points value will change. So if everyone is harvesting coal, the value of coal will drop. After the wild card round they’re going to do it again. So you have to be able to do more than just one thing because you might end up with a valueless or close to valueless commodity.”

They have to have a system that doesn’t involve dropping ores. It would cost them too much time to pick the it up.

“The challenge is figuring out how to collect the different ores and their various configurations,”

— Junior Jeremy Redden

“The challenge is figuring out how to collect the different ores and their various configurations,” junior Jeremy Redden said. “None of the ores have the same collection method.”

They will be building a mock-up of the field to test the robot. The Robotics club has gotten awards such as the Founders Award and most elegant design for innovative parts on their robots.

“Hopefully we get that again this year. Last year we got knocked out in the semi-finals in Capitol BEST and we basically lost because of field issues, communication issues between the robot and the field,” Mr. Wasson said. “All the teams that were in our position, using the same equipment, were complaining and finally about halfway through the contest they rebooted it. Then everything worked but by then we were out. They’ve changed the field controls system so i’m hoping that that solves all those problems.”