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Robotics 2

posted Mar 29, 2011, 11:20 AM by Mark Nance   [ updated Mar 29, 2011, 11:33 AM ]

Robotics II by Sean Melovidov

     Playing with Legos and experiencing a wide variety of programming technology was only the first step for us in robotics I. Robotics II is more critical and challenging. You have to really think “outside the box”. The challenges in robotics II take critical thinking and patience. Aaliq Rowland, Andrew Kingwell, Bill Jones, David Boyayok, Mr. Nance and I have all stepped up for a new challenge. The challenges of robotics I were teamwork, variables and estimations. Robotics II has the challenges of creativity, experiments, teamwork and patience. These challenges are difficult to overcome especially when you only have a few months to do it. The robotics II team will be traveled in February and March to compete in a region and statewide competition called “first tech challenge.” A lot of rules, studying and brainstorming was necessary for the competition, but the MEHS robotics team didn’t hesitate at all.

     Reading the rulebooks and assigning roles was our first step. When we first got to robotics II class we had no clue what we were going to be doing. When Mr. Nance told us about the competition we didn’t know how much work it would take. We voted on team captain (Sean), co-captain & book recorder (Aaliq), designer (Andrew &David), programmer(Bill) and our advisor was already Mr. Nance. Most of our days in the beginning of the semester were all reading the rules, searching for ideas, and brainstorming how we were to build our robot. In Robotics I it was all about Legos, but in robotics II it was all medal and screws. Towards February we found out more about the competition and were about a quarter done with our robot. It had taken us weeks to figure out a foundation model for our robot and how we were going to make everything fit. Our robot was going to be 100% original and, as Mr. Nance says, “K.I.S.S.” keep it simple stupid. Designing the robot and building took a lot of teamwork, brainstorming and a series of multiple tests and patience.

     Bill Jones, the head programmer, worked on programming for almost a month straight. Bill helped with many ideas on the building but had to study many ways for the robot to move as well as how to set the robot up with joysticks. Mr. Nance, who kept educating Bill with more programs, provided a device called the “Samantha unit” that would give the robot’s program wireless internet to the joysticks we would use in the competition. After hours and hours of staring at a computer screen to learn new programs, variables and statements, Bill was very competent in programming

     Aaliq and I, the captains of the team, floated around the classroom to help where we could. We suggested many ideas for the building. I spent much time with Andrew, the head builder, putting on screws and nuts to connect the robot’s structure together.

     Andrew and David, the builders, spent most of their time brainstorming and trying out different structures and movement methods for our robot. They were always in a race against time to find a K.I.S.S. structure that would work best.

      The robotics II class has many different challenges that test our ability to remain working and focusing on the task at hand. If you like the way this class sounds than you should think about participating in robotics I to get a feel for the techniques and smaller challenges that will prepare you for robotics II.
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