How do you get a robot to move several blocks from one place to another in under two minutes? When you’re a fifth grader in Gary Miller’s technology class at Cuyahoga Heights Elementary School, the task can be daunting, but a lot of fun too!
“The scenario challenged the students to remove three packages from a warehouse as fast as they could to an awaiting semi-truck,” explained Miller. “In addition, penalties could occur for not staying in the warehouse or hitting the side of the truck.”
To prepare for this year’s annual “Robotics and Automation Challenge”, fifth graders were divided into teams and given kits to build the robot base. They used VexIQ software to write a code to program the robot to pick up blocks (simulating packages). The students could add additional parts to the robot base to alter the design, then collect data and adjust the code to improve the robot’s performance.
“The original challenge called for the students just to remove two blocks (packages) off the course in under two minutes,” said Miller. “But the students get better and better each year so we did the simulation for the first time this year with three blocks. Students could get penalized seconds if the blocks or the robot were not perfectly placed on green paper (mimicking the semi-truck).”
Winners of this year’s Robotics and Automation Challenge were
- First Place with a time of 6.25 seconds: Isabella Simerale, Gianna Sciano, and Hailey Lamont.
- Second Place with a time of 6.82 seconds: Callan Hensley, Vincent Geggus, and Rocco Presot.
- Third Place with a time of 6.91 seconds: Alyssa Tosado, Julia Nichols, and Olivia Gindlesperger.
1st place: Isabella Simerale, Gianna Sciano, and Hailey Lamont.
2nd place: Callan Hensley, Vincent Geggus, and Rocco Presot.
3rd place: Alyssa Tosado, Julia Nichols, and Olivia Gindlesperger.