Robotics team qualifies for national competition
With two victories under its belt, the Plum High School robotics team is eyeing a national competition.
"Still in Shock II," one of the team's robots, took first place in the seventh annual BotsIQ 2012 last week at Westmoreland County Community College. The robot outlasted the others at the competition. The team received a trophy and $1,000.
The students also scored a first-place finish last month in a competition at California University.
The contests lead up to the national competition next month in Indianapolis.
"These are the best students I have experienced for this type of event," said Martin Griffith, robotics team advisor. "They did a fantastic job."
Highlands High School was named the Grand Champion at last weekend's competition for best overall performance, which also includes documentation and team interviews. Griffith, who teaches computer-aided design and robotics, said Highlands received the designation because of its high marks in documentation.
"We need to work on our documentation," Griffith said. "I have to get the kids to complete it in a timely fashion and get them motivated."
The 14 students devoted their evenings and weekends during the school year to building "Blackout" and "Still in Shock II," the two robots they used in competitions.
Griffith said eight members of the team hope to go to the national competition May 5 and 6 in Indianapolis.
Approval from the Plum School Board is needed to proceed to the competition.
"They will be competing against other school districts throughout the country and college students," Griffith said. "It's a great experience."
The team plans to make some modifications to last year's bots and take them to the national competition, too.
"They were totally pumped up for the competition," Griffith said. "It is exciting."
The Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association spearheaded efforts to bring a national student robotics program to the Pittsburgh region.
The competition tests the ability of the students to build a robot that can outmaneuver and overpower the competitor, much like what is seen on the "Battlebots" television series.
The goal is to have a stronger, more durable robot that can withstand the impact of other robots, as well as act as an offensive weapon.
The Plum robotics team first competed in 2007. Over the past several years, it has captured first-place finishes in preliminary and regional competitions as well as top honors in the national competition in 2009.
The team last year took first place in the preliminary match and was knocked out in the regional competition.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steel Valley plans to play up-tempo under 1st-year coach Schifino
- DUI checkpoints take on dangerous drivers
- Young Steel Valley players looking for experience
- Cal U falls after earning No. 22 ranking
- No. 15 San Diego State hammers Pitt, 74-57
- FDA rule to require chain restaurants to post calorie counts
- Sixth Grade Academy work reported on schedule
- Roundup: Mazda recalls cars to fix tire pressure monitors; Wal-Mart’s top merchant out as key holiday nears; more
- Steelers’ lookahead: New Orleans Saints
- Clairton waits for legal opinion on tax resolution
- U.S. Steel Tower tenants stand to benefit from company’s relocation