Rudimentary robotics

Rudimentary robotics

Real Steel // Preparing for the FIRST Tech Competition on Saturday, Jan. 11 , freshman Mimi Smith of the Robotics Club sets up their competing robot. The first 10 seconds of the competition the robot was not controlled to see how it could act on its own. After ten seconds junior Clay Little took control. “He was really good at it, he did a great job,” Smith said.

writer: Ash Thomas, Editor in Chief

Robotics club competes for first time

It may not be able to clean like Rosie the Maid from the Jetsons or WALL-E, and it may not be able to help save the galaxy like R2-D2 and C-3PO, but it sure knows how to push a cube around.

Four students from the new Robotics Club placed 10th in their first ever competition, FIRST Tech Competition, the first of what they hope is many, this past weekend Saturday, Jan.11.

“We got a late start this year but I wanted to go ahead and compete so that the students could get a feel for what competitions are like and what to expect next year,” Robotics sponsor Dr. Jacob Day said.

Junior Emily Esch, junior Clay Little, freshman Lauren PeCoy and freshman Mimi Smith all traveled to Dallas to compete and had a part in making the robot.

“It was really fun. There were a lot of robots from other schools,” Smith said. “We got a lot of experience for our first time.”

For the competition, the students had to build a robot that could push a cube into a square box on the floor.

“The club started only a couple of months ago, so our robot is not exactly top level, yet,” Nobue Jansen, parent of Smith, said. “But I really hope this club will take off and create more interests in engineering among many students.”

Their “simple design” was effective, and the team placed 10th out of 25.

“I made it very clear that if we walked out in 25th place at the end of the day that it was still a complete success in my book and that I was proud of them before we ever even walked in the door that morning,” Dr. Day said.

Dr. Day watched on as his team sat in the bleachers during the final matches, discussing among themselves about what they were going to do next year and who they were going to recruit, so that they could come back and compete at a high level.

“Before the matches started they showed great pride and confidence even though our robot paled in comparison to many of the other entries based on looks and complexity,” Dr. Day said.

The students had a fantastic time and are incredibly excited for next year.

“The students were outstanding and the day was a complete success from my point of view,” Dr. Day said. “Things are looking up for Wylie East Robotics indeed!”