by Alex Feit
Since beginning their six-week building process over a week ago, members of the Ligerbots, this school’s and South’s robotics team, have begun building prototypes to compete in this year’s iteration of the FIRST Robotics challenge, according to senior Paige Grody, the team’s captain.
“Our team’s been remarkably ahead of schedule this year,” Grody said. “We’re expecting to finish building the prototypes this week, and to move into building the finalized components after that.”
According to Grody, this year’s game type, entitled Rebound Rumble, is essentially a version of three-versus-three robot basketball, with robots attempting to score as many points as possible when shooting foam basketballs at four different hoops aligned in a diamond shape. The ending section in the game requires all six robots to successfully balance on three teeter totters in the middle of the playing field in order to score points.
To compete successfully, Grody said that the team has decided to build a robot with the ability to compete very offensively.
The robot will be built somewhat in the shape of a tank, with four wheels on each side of the robot and a spinning wheel to shoot basketballs out of the mouth of a chute, she said.
Grody said that programmers on the team are also currently coding the robot to automatically line up the shots to the basket via an attached camera.
“We have a very driven team this year of both veteran and rookie members, so we should be able to build our best robot yet,” Grody said.
This motivation stands as one of the strengths of the Ligerbots this year, Grody said, which can partially account to the fact that they are ahead of schedule.
“Everyone’s been extremely hands-on, and everyone has been taught and given the tools to not only express their ideas as vague concepts, but as more precise drafts and models,” Grody said. “
“As we progress further into the physical building stage, I’m sure this rise in skills will continue to show itself,” she added.
The Ligerbots will have a pre-regional meet with Wayland within the next few weeks and will attend formal competitions at Worcester Polytechnic Institute Thursday, March 8 to Saturday, March 10 and at Boston University Thursday, March 22 to Saturday, March 24.