MORE Robotics, Team 1714, kicked off the 2013 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics build season upon the release of this year’s competition, Ultimate Ascent, in early January. This year’s competition is played between two alliances of three teams each. Each alliance competes by trying to score as many flying discs into their goals as possible during the two-minute and 15-second match. Matches end with robots attempting to climb up a 7.5 foot tall pyramid located near the middle of the field. More points are scored the higher the robot climbs. The robot weighs approximately 150 pounds and can be up to 54 inches in diameter and five feet tall. Teams are given just six weeks to design, build and program their robot to participate in the annual competition.
MORE Robotics decided to focus its efforts on building a robot capable of climbing the pyramid. This was the team’s most ambitious endeavor in the team’s eight year history. The team pushed the limits of its engineering abilities while conceptualizing and designing a robot able to accomplish the pyramid climb. The team spent over two weeks of the six week build season designing the robot using 3D modeling software (AutoCAD Inventor) prior to beginning the actual construction of the robot. As the six week build season drew to a close, the students found themselves spending over forty hours a week working to complete the robot within the designated time frame.
The team’s efforts were well rewarded as the team competed in the Lake Superior Regional in Duluth, Minnesota from March 7th through 9th. They ended the competition with a record of six wins and four losses. The team also won the Engineering Inspiration Award, the second highest honor bestowed upon teams. The Engineering Inspiration Award celebrates outstanding success in advancing respect and appreciation for engineering and engineers, both within their school, as well as their community. This award qualified the team for the World Championship. The team was also runner-up for the Industrial Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories. The Industrial Safety Award celebrates the team that progresses beyond safety fundamentals by using innovative ways to eliminate or protect against hazards.
The team then competed at the Wisconsin Regional at the U.S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from March 21st through March 23rd. The team again performed well compiling a record of six wins and four losses. The team won the Excellence in Engineering Award sponsored by Delphi. This award celebrates an elegant and advantageous machine feature. This award recognizes any aspect of engineering elegance that reinforces the principles of FIRST. The judges were particularly impressed with the design of the arms used to climb the tower. The team also won the Industrial Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories.
Since the Wisconsin Regional, the team has been preparing for the FIRST World Championship to be held in St. Louis, Missouri, April 24th through 27th. The Championship will pit the four hundred teams that qualified at the various regional events. The season started with over 2,500 teams and 51,000 students from sixteen countries all vying for a spot at the World Championship.
MORE Robotics was founded to give grade school and high school students who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and math (“STEM”) an opportunity to learn about careers in these areas and to encourage them to pursue careers in the science and engineering fields. The team targets students who attend schools in Southeastern Milwaukee County that do not have a robotics club and who do not have an opportunity to experience FIRST. The team encourages personal growth and promotes self-confidence and leadership skills in a team setting similar to school athletic programs. Students are challenged to do their best and are celebrated for their skills in robot designing, building, and competition while learning gracious professionalism.
MORE Robotics is supported by local companies and universities. Sponsors include: Hollow Steel, ATI Ladish, Dedicated Computing, Caterpillar, Siemens, Rockwell Automation, QuadTech, Symbiont, MSOE, MGIC, Boyle Fredrickson, Nucor, Vilter, Fliteway, Great Lakes Roofing, American Acrylics USA LLC and Thomas More High School.
Additional information about MORE Robotics can be found by visiting the team website: www.morerobotics.org.
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