Group Participation In The Best Robotics Competition

1076 words - 4 pages

The BEST Robotics Competition is a fairly new program to be implemented in full at High School. It started last year and has been a source of both exasperation and mirth to the competitors. There are many different aspects of the competition, and the most important of these are the robot and the program.
The robot is the main focus of our program for reasons of manpower and time constraints. The robot is subdivided out into many groups and assignments. The base team had to build a lightweight design that could support the arm, attach the wheels, and be able to push around the balls. The arm team had to design an arm that could grab and hold the volleyballs (CO2).
We were successful in the building of a robot that could move all of the required game pieces to the specified locations within the prescribed amount of time. There were many small victories along with the setbacks. The structure of the legs of the arm was an easy project for the arm team. The motor mount and fabrication of the arms were also successes on their part. Later on the spool and slider mechanism for the claw was a major breakthrough in the nick of time. The base team had many successes as well and few setbacks. The design was easy enough to come by and the fender was a late but ultimately crucial design feature. The caster wheel was a project done by our base team leader, Joe The wheel mounts and wheels were completed by the more technically versed members of the team, Jared and Aiden.
The failures and setbacks of the robot were many and often. The arm team had problems with the strength of the arm motors for a long time, and the arm was found out to not be long enough to reach the upper CO2. The former was accidentally fixed when Jared dropped the string onto the shaft of the motor. The latter was never fixed but instead we worked around the problem. The bumper was found to be preventing the robot to mount the energy dispensing platform. This then caused a massive drop in the scores of the team.
The program is the backbone that the rest of the robot section of the competition relies on. Without the program nothing would happen. The best robot in the world would cease to function without the program. Even the simplest and most unassuming program is still incredibly powerful. The programming world seemed complicated and forbidding for the longest time before Aiden and John helped me learn. They did not seem to have much idea of the process either, but we worked through it and discovered how to work it by the example of the default program. We celebrated every small success and discovery, and we worked through all of the difficulties. We discovered that the brain must be disconnected from the battery while the program is loading. The IR sensor was a large source of problems to me while I was programming. The team was encouraging me to get it programmed whilst I could not test it. I was under intense pressure during the competition to get the...

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