Robotics Club Enters Culminating Competition with New Design


Isabel Reinert

Members of the team test the robot to see if they can identify way to improve on their engineering design plan.

Mrs.Lepre and her classes competed in a robotics competition February 22, in Columbus, NJ, to practice robotics by designing advanced robots. The team’s creation is possible because of the principal Ms. Nwanguma’s approval.

“This is the culminating tournament for all of South Jersey,” Mrs.Lepre said, “and it’s the first tech challenge for the robotics teams.”

The team traveled by bus to the competition that was held at North Burlington Middle School. Students designed in class and after school hours from 2:18 to 4:00 during the Robotics Club. They made a robot that stacks wooden toy blocks with a metal, wire-connected  claw that moves vertically to stack up to 6 at a time. 

“We built a small robot,” said eighth grade member Isaac Moran, “that can open its claw and moves its arm up and down.”

They made improvements from their recent competition in January in which the robot had multiple weaknesses including a loose limb. In addition to the design problems, they also collided with another team’s creation and ranked second to last in January. Because the design process of the new robot didn’t go as the prototype was planned, it made the designing process a little difficult. They were more hopeful going into February.

“So many other mechanics we could have used.”

As one of the youngest teams in the competition, they ranked 13th. Because the robot would not stack correctly, they collaborated with another team, pushing blocks to their ally so that team could stack them. Through that collaborative effort, they ended up exceeding their own expectations stacking 7 blocks.