Since January the engineers of the RVHS robotics team has designed and built its first creation; it fought its first frisbee-throwing battle in Duluth this month.
Members of the Redwood Area Board of Education watched as RVHS students maneuvered their robot around the board room showing off what they had created.
The RVHS robotics team, in its first year of existence, built a robot it then entered into a regional contest held in mid-March at Duluth.
The 16-member team, as well as its advisors, Todd Steve and Mark Buyck talked about the contest and the inaugural year of the program, expressing their appreciation to the school board for approving the start of RVHS robotics team.
The objective for the teams competing at the regional event was to create a robot that could throw frisbees into goals at various heights, with the teams scoring the most goals during a contest declared the winners.
During a competition three teams join together to compete in a three-on-three match.
According to Steve, the RVHS team went five and five in competition and ended up in 26th place out of the 51 teams competing.
“Our goal was to score,” said Steve, and they did that scoring 15 goals total.
The robot the RVHS team created was one of few at the competition that could actually pick up frisbees, which attracted them to other teams, added Steve.
Starting in January, the RVHS team spent six weeks meeting together three nights a week building the robot they had designed adding to their plan as they went along.
Steve said the students also developed the computer programming that allowed for wireless communication with the robot.
Steve said during the three days the team was in Duluth all of the members worked very hard, including the first day when they worked from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. putting the finishing touches on their robot.
Steve said the team can keep the robot they made, and he said the plan is to use it as a recruiting tool for next year when it starts seeking new members.
The RVHS team received assistance form Chad Johnson of Daktronics, and support from sponsors which helped cover the $5,000 cost to get the robot built.
The hope is to continue offering the program in years to come, as it does offer a unique activity for students in the district.
“There are not many times when you can say you were part of the first of something,” said Rick Ellingworth, RASD superintendent to the students. “In years to come you are always going to know you played a hand in getting this started.”