Calgary students add finishing touches to battle bots
Several teams from Calgary hope they are building the best robots in the world.
They have spent the past six weeks building and testing their creations for the upcoming regional competitions for First Robotics Canada.
Kyle Middleditch is part of Team Swat Bots 5015 and has been part of this world for four years .
“You get to learn a lot about various engineering principles and electronics and things like that. It’s also good for problem solving because you’re given the game but you’re not given any ways on how to solve it,” he says.
On January 8th, 8,000 teams from around the world simultaneously received their mission for the competition.
This year’s theme is Deep Space so the teams have to try to figure out how to pick up some balls, carry them and then figure out how to place them in the hole to rack up points.
“Over the different years as the game changes the designs change dramatically. No one robot works for two challenges so you get a very diverse arrangement of robots that even I’ve constructed,” says Middleditch.
Each team has to design, order parts, fabricate, do the electrical and mechanical and program their robots.
Patrick Kornak is a parent who got involved last year when his son signed up and didn’t realize how big these competitions were until he arrived in Victoria.
“It’s just like a sporting event; this is not a simple robotics club,” says Kornak. “We joke it’s the sport for nerds but it’s bigger than that these kids gain real world experience.”
“One of the things that’s neat is when you go to the competition and see all the different ways people accomplish the task. It’s cool because there’s a lot of variety among the robots,” says Middleditch. “
It’s also a very friendly competition with competing teams often helping each other out if they need some materials to fine tune their robots.
Monday was one of the last full days all the Calgary teams had to finish their creations.
They have to bag them up by 10:00 p.m. Tuesday night and they are not allowed to touch them again until the Calgary regionals on April 5th and 6th.
The winners will eventually go onto compete at the worlds in Houston.