Royal Robots for the win
Valley well represented at Acadia University’s 2018 robotics competition
Trial and error has never been so fun.
Middle and high school students alike wowed crowds with their use of cutting edge technology at Acadia University’s provincial robot programming competitions hosted in the athletics complex Feb. 17.
Students were tasked with putting their heads together to solve technical challenges using their knowledge of math, engineering, computer science and autonomous program-controlled robots.
Middle school teams tested their coding skills in the FIRST LEGO league HYDRO DYNAMICS Challenge. High school squads designed robots for the head-to-head ROBOFEST Autonomous Tennis Ball Collector challenge.
The top four teams in the high school challenge will be invited to attend in the Robofest World Championships at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan from May 17-19.
“The plan was for the robot to drive around on the table and look for tennis balls, and look for water bottles,” said Horton High School student Lydia Wilks, who competed with fellow Horton students Chloe Symons and Anna Joy Burgess.
“If it saw a tennis ball, it would Horton High School robotics competitors Chloe Symons, Lydia Wilks and Anna Joy Burgess had fun designing a robot for the provincial competition hosted at Acadia University Feb. 17.
pick it up and put it into its box on the back. If it saw a water bottle, it would turn and push it off of the table.”
The goal was to design a robot that would ultimately collect all of the tennis balls and drop them into a box at the end of the table before the timed event was over. In many cases, things didn’t go quite as planned when the robots were in action but tweaking things in between rounds and trying again was all part of the fun.
“I enjoy trying to figure out how the robot is going to think about things so I can get it to do sequences of actions and get it to remember things it’s done to affect things further on,” said Burgess.
“It took a long time to build that and we sort of ended up spending too long building and we didn’t have enough time to make a really polished program, so that was our main problem,” Wilks added.
Nonetheless, the robotics competitors were all smiles as they collaborated to work out the kinks.
“The challenge and finding a way to solve it is pretty cool,” said Symons.