Four Otumoetai College students have earned high recognition in the 2014 VEX Robotics World Championship High School Division for building a robot that can move, lift and throw objects.
According to the news article on the NZ Herald, Kate Low (15) and Logan Davy (15) have finished second in the overall competition, which was held between 23–26 April 2014 in Anaheim, California; whereas Sarah Avery (14) and Dean Strydom (15) finished second in their division.
VEX Robotics, the company that organises the competitions and manufactures the robots, provides each competing team with a list of the parts and components which can be used to build the robot, but allows contestants complete freedom with regard to the design of the machine.
The Otumoetai College students used a remote controller to make the robot perform tasks such as picking up different sized objects and placing them into goals. The further up the playing field the objects were, the more points they were worth. Points were also awarded if the robot could grab on to a bar and lift itself off the ground.
The rules of the competition required the robot to move autonomously for the first 15 seconds of the game and to be operated by joysticks on a remote control for the rest of the two-minute match.
Kate and Logan constructed their robot with rotating cogs that could pull or push a smaller ball, and a catapult that could be used to throw a bigger ball.
“Before the nationals, we had last year’s Year 13s helping us but then they left for university so we had to do everything ourselves,” Kate said.
“We spent every lunch time, most days after school and almost every weekend getting ready, I didn’t really have a social life.”
The four Otumoetai College students took up robotics last year and used all of their spare time building and fine-tuning their robots.