18 March
2008

The St. George's School Robotics Team, with Nicholas playing a key position, recently participated in a regional robotics competition. They built a robot that had to drive around under remote control and shoot bean bags at a large (30 foot high) score board. Their robot had an uncannily good throwing arm. In addition, they also designed and produced an shiny exhibition booth that featured a working animatronic flying dragon, and descriptive video (in two languages) and associated materials.

Unfortunately, they experienced an electrical short early on in the competition which badly damaged their hardware, and the robot was not able to perform well. That's how so many technology demos go. Nevertheless, the whole thing was very impressive. A big high profile competition like this is a great way to stimulate enthusiasm for, and interest in, science and technology.

The robot itself operated using a differential drive steering mechanism: two independently powered real wheels. Two small front wheels provided balance. As is often the case with differential drive, good straight-forward steering was tricky, but they addresses this by using a pretty large wheel diameter and comparatively low torque.


By Gregory Dudek at | Read (1) or Leave a comment |    
Comments
Re: St. George's Robotics Team

Dragons?! We want pictures!

Technical problems at demos- reminds me of when we had to remotely drive Invader into the AAAI pit using hand signals and the arrow keys on a PC back behind the curtain. We'd fried the joystick card just moments before our big run. Then there was the team from Brown that had catastrophic disk failure the day of the competition. It happens to the best of us. :-)

Posted by: Rob at March 19,2008 00:47
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