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High hopes for hoop shooting robot
Published Monday, February 20, 2012 6:23PM MST
A group of high school students from Bishop Carroll spent the Family Day long weekend working on a robot that they designed and built for an international competition.
The sixteen students are making the robot for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) in Toronto in March.
They are on a tight deadline and need to finish the project by midnight on Tuesday.
The students, who designed, built and programmed the robot all have special skills that help with the project.
"It's fun, its ridiculously hard but it's worth it. I've been doing it for four years. I went to previously a school that did this and so when I came to Carroll I was like oh I have to have my team here," said Alex Rodrigues.
The grade 11 student is passionate about robots and worked hard on this design.
"They change the game every year. This year is a basket ball game basically, we're trying to score hoops. Two years ago it was soccer and one year ago there was no discernible sport that it was involved in," said Rodrigues.
The team is building and testing the robot at SAIT Polytechnic.
Craig Maynard is helping from a distance and says these teenagers learn a lot about team building, project management and hands on mechanical skills.
"This is the easiest kind of teaching, where you just stand back and let the students gobble up as much information as they can and push themselves harder than I've ever seen them push themselves in class," said Maynard
Grade 10 student, Mac Hunik isn't into programming the robot, but he loves to work with metal and learned a lot fabricating specific parts for construction.
"The biggest challenge that I found was machining brackets for this stuff, because we had to make all sorts of different, very custom cubes, and L brackets, and drill a bunch of holes and everything and just make it work with exactly what we wanted," said Hunik.
So far everything is working the way it was intended to and the team hopes it is enough to get them the win in Toronto.
If the team does well at the regionals in Toronto they will go to St. Louis for the finals at the end of April.