A Robotic Renaissance


Vex  Build- (1)Michael Shullick ’14

Times are a’changing on the lower level of the Lowe center. With the graduation of the class of 2013, the robotics team lost a number of skilled members. The past few years have met some of the greatest successes of the team. For example, two years ago the basketball-shooting robot achieved second place at the Great Lakes Regional Competition. An all-freshmen VEX team, a robotics competition on a smaller scale, achieved high ranks last year. However, there was room for improvements in organization and communication. This year will be different.
Robotics season is kicking into gear earlier this year. Already things are looking up. Some projects underway include a robotic quadcopter, designed by alumnus Steve Pitman, ’13, and a ballista, which is like a giant crossbow on wheels. The St. Edward Robotics team will also have a booth at the Our Lady of Angels parish festival. We also have a new mentor in our midst: Mr. Romano, expert in anything remote control. This year, planning is taking place to accommodate projects and competitions simultaneously.
This Wednesday marks the first time the class of 2017 will enter the robotics lab. Rather than just announcing a meeting and hoping they stick around like years past, we started with brief survey to gauge interest and get students’ availability. Daily meetings began, and after a couple of days of orientation and introduction, everyone’s diving right into the VEX competition, which is going into its third year here at St. Edward. This year, VEX teams will have more guidance and be presenting their designs the way real engineering contractors present projects for bidding. The teams that can sell their designs best will have the possibility for budget bonuses.
What’s in store for the rest of the year is still being planned, but team mentor Mr. Falk is working with student leader to take the team in a new direction. The FIRST competition is looming on the horizon, but we’ll be ready.