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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Robot Food Transport

FRC high school robotics competition season is underway and the van is back in service as a rolling chuck wagon. Here she sits in the parking lot at UNC Greensboro as the moon rises over the baseball stadium. Happily, our games were played inside the basketball stadium where temperatures were nicely controlled.

We became interested in robotics when our son joined Team 900, The Zebracorns during his freshman year in high school. He has since graduated and gone on to university to study engineering, but we are continuing to support the team. He is still involved with FRC as well, mentoring a rookie team and volunteering at events like this one.
An early morning full field view of the basketball arena before fans arrive.
3D camera calculates height and direction of goal
Shooting "fuel" into the "boiler" scores points

It shoots AND climbs
Robots get extra points for climbing a rope during the last 30 seconds of each match.

Our team ranked fifth out of thirty-two at the end of the qualification matches. We didn't win the tournament, but received the "UL Safety Award" and the "Innovation in Control Award." There will be another district competition and we hope to compete in the NC District Playoffs. If all those go well, the van may even get the opportunity to drive food and supplies to Houston for the international competition!

Games change every year. Students have six weeks from when a game is announced to build a unique robot to play the game.

If you want to see creative, motivated, and smart high school students show their stuff, search for an FIRST Robotics Competition near you. This year's theme is steam punk based, so brings out some great costumes. Great fun to watch, events are always free for spectators.

Partially Wrapped Team Trailer

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