Robotic resilience: Team prepares design for upcoming tournament


Caleb Oblepias

Disassembling last year’s robot, junior Rex Daugherty collects parts for the chassis of this year’s robot. The parts will be used by a robot competing in an event comprised of different challenges that include climbing and shooting balls.

Julian Gallegos, Staff Writer

The aggressive whirring of a power drill fills the robotics room during a dark afternoon senior Nicholas Randant prepares the team robot for a series of skill challenges in the competition.
Each season, the competition has varying parameters that determine the design concept and abilities of the robot.
This year’s competition consists of picking up balls and shooting them into baskets in order to gain points for the team.
“I am very excited to have our robot compete in the basketball game because so far it has been working great,” senior designer and fabricator, Nicholas Randant, said. “Even if the robot does not function as planned, it can still be used to block the opponents from shooting their baskets.”
After that round, the team robot has to climb a series of monkey bars, each bar getting progressively harder. These parameters have led the team to create their main design of this year’s robot including a ball grabber, ball shooter and a climbing mechanism.
“There are a lot of ways you can complete these challenges,” Randant said. “The design we have right now kind of looks like a scorpion. It has two sets of arms and a tail, so it will be able to pull itself up on the bars and drain baskets with ease.”
For senior team member William Watson, robotics has introduced him to a variety of applicable sciences that are being used in the world as technology grows rapidly.
“I feel that being on the robotics team has furthered my love and knowledge for programming and the engineering field,” Watson said. “It is definitely going to help me in the future with all the skills it taught me.”
The extracurricular activity requires many different roles to be executed correctly to have a functioning robot at the end of the season. Watson’s position as head programmer entails that he designs the code that goes into the robot to make it move and work.
“Design makes and creates the robot, programming makes it move, marketing gets us sponsors and promotes us, and fabrication builds our practice field and chassis,” Watson said.
According to team members, this year’s robot design has also brought in new experiences and challenges as the team attempts to build onto a new type of drivetrain. A drivetrain is the system in a motor machine that connects to the wheels delivering them power.
“This year is definitely different because we have completely changed up our drive system,” Randant said. “That has given us some new things to face like figuring out a new drivetrain and then finally building up the robot from scratch.”
Despite the new drivetrain impediment, the robotics team continues to prepare for the upcoming competition in March.
“So far, it’s been going well,” Watson said. “Hopefully, we continue to do well to dominate the competition.”