Owls Succeed in Robotics Challenge
Upper School Robotics engineers from the Class of 2023 put their skills to the test this semester as they built, programmed, and operated their creations to navigate a speed maze and clean up a trash pit in Science Department Chair Lee Loden’s Physics II: Robotics class.
The challenge pushed students to learn how center of mass, torque, and arm and gripper construction affected their robots. The speed maze consisted of bumps designed to throw the robots off course followed by a ramp with a 2-inch drop to enter a pit that was filled with “trash,” including water bottles and old motors. If the robot’s center of mass wasn’t properly calculated, tipping over was a real possibility.
Once robots made it inside the pit, operators guided them around poles to locate trash, pick it up, and deposit it outside the pit. The challenge tested the students’ understanding of torque as well as arm and motor configuration.
Penalties were assessed for robots tipping over and team members entering the pit for any reason other than to right a fallen robot. Interference with another team’s attempt at the maze or pit also garnered deductions.
Loden graded students on their performance in the challenge and their center of mass and torque calculations. Each team earned additional points for the quantity of debris removed by their robot.
Smaller robots had the most success, Loden said, as they could maneuver quickly around the maze and maximize time collecting items. The winning team – seniors James Alexander, Nathan Chambers, and Mason Putnam – collected 14 items weighing over eight pounds.
Other groups included:
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