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It shoots! It scores! NWTC EET students build best sports robot in WI

Casey M Fryda

Wednesday May 30, 2018
NWTC Electrical Engineering Technology students took first place in the “WTCS Robot Challenge 2018: Robot Sports!” The 11th annual state robotics competition was held in Madison and open to all Wisconsin Technical Colleges.
 
NWTC Electrical Engineering Technology students win state robotics competitionStudents on the winning team are, from left to right:
  • Andrew Beiderwieden, De Pere
  • Isaiah Stonebraker, Mishicot
  • Pa Yeng Yang, Green Bay
  • Jason Meyer, Pound
  • Bo Bakovic, Green Bay
 
Forming a robotics team is an annual tradition for the Electronics Design Integration class, guided by EET instructors Dave Kacynski and Ron Ropson. Ron said the competition builds both technical and interpersonal skills that are in high demand in industry.
 
“Because this is a group project, they learn to work together, practice soft-skills, gain problem-solving skills, apply time management, acquire some mechanical skills, use goal-oriented strategies, and learn from their mistakes,” he said. “Since NWTC wins most the competitions, we have a reputation at stake also. The students are excited to see the project come together and have a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment, and camaraderie through building the project and by competing with other schools.”
 
In one event, students used wireless remote controls to direct their robots to fetch balls of various sizes from a 4-by-8 foot field and place them in a tube, in a coffee can or on a paper target.
 
In three other events, the robots had to complete tasks autonomously and points were deducted if teams touched the robots:
  • Race – The robots were timed to see how quickly they could travel 20 feet.
  • Robot Mini-Golf – The robots had to “putt” golf-balls into holes on a commercial putting green.
  • Ping Pong Basketball – The robots were to either pick up ping pong balls (for extra points) or have them pre-loaded, then shoot the ping-pong balls into a coffee can that was mounted four feet up on a wall.
 
And the competition required more than good design/build skills. As the rules stated, “A great design will never become a marketable product if no one knows about it.” Teams were required to give a 9-15 minute presentation on their design.

The team name is Serial.Println(“Your Name Here”); -- a command line for a microcontroller that will look familiar to programmers.
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