The Robotics Challenge

Welcome to Robotics!

The Robotics class is the first class to take advantage of the new Project Center at Bay. Brad Niven is the Project Center director and teacher of the robotics class and has led a group of fearless students into the world of robots.

The project details:

Brad asked the 4 teams of 2 students each to build a robot that can pick up a plastic donut that then goes on a peg that is either 24″, 28″, or 32″ high. The robot must fit within a 15″ x 15″ x 15″ box. There are multiple plastic donuts and one of each peg. The more donuts you stack on each peg, the more points you get. The lowest peg is 1 point, the next peg gives you 2, and the last peg gives you 3. The pegs are set at 90 degrees horizontal. May the best robot win!

Meet The Destroyer

Amara and John are 2 students in the robotics class that are behind the winning robot, The Destroyer. Amara is a senior at Bay and she has always been interested in robotics. This class gave her the opportunity to explore her interest. And it’s been really fun for her. “Seeing the makerfaire projects inspired me to try it out,” Amara said, “It’s a really intense experience, but it’s been really fun. All of our robots turned out completely. It was a really laid back class and Brad is really cool.”

The materials for building the robots were from Vex—motors, servos, motors that go 180 degrees, metal beams, gears, axel pieces, remote controls, everything they needed for their challenge. It was up to the students to design and create a working robot.

Amara and John’s robot used tire treads, like a tank. She said that the tire treads looked cooler, and made it easier to turn. The robot was built upon a u-shape with tire treads on both sides. A large arm to lift the donuts was supported in the middle. The arm was set at 45 degrees and has the ability to lift up to 135 degrees. “There was a lot of trial and error,” Amara said, “As soon as we ran into a problem we went back and tried to fix it. Other teams didn’t necessarily do that because of time issues. We did a LOT of testing.”

Brad says we have a good chance of winning because we go back and fix mistake the second we see them, so it’s a super sturdy robot. The Destroyer will decimate the competition.   

The day of the competition, all 4 teams got their robots in the arena and competed to get the most points in the allotted time. All the robots functioned and got into the challenge, but The Destroyer blew away the competition with 12 points. The second runner-up had 6 points. Watch the video below to see the winning moment.

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