Bearcat Robotics

79307058_228503138135946_1259209686439495452_nWriter: Lara G.

Visual: Courtesy of ISM Robotics

Editor: Gisele F.

Robotics involves a lot of different aspects of science, technology, and more. This includes physics, design, programming, and teamwork.  Although robotics may seem very labor-intensive and time consuming, the club supervisor, Mr. Dingrando, says that “Robotics is fun because it lets us build creative items that can do different actions and perform many tasks, such as move, illuminate, speak, compete, and entertain.”

Last December, three ISM robotics teams–– 3818A, 3818B, and 3818C–– travelled to the Taipei Formosa robotics competition which was held at Taipei American School (TAS). Team 3818A, also known as Mad Max, encompassed seniors Jason C. and Justin S. and juniors John. A and Eion C.; 3818B, or Munchlax, comprised entirely of juniors Yun Chan C., Michael J., Myunghyeon L., and Min Gyeom C.; 3818C, or Cream, consisted entirely of seniors Derek Z., David H., Saipranav M., Frederik B., and Slava G. Team 3818 A won the tournament and was given the Think Award–– a technically judged award given to the team with the most impressive and efficient robot programming.

This semester, there are even more exciting robotics events: Robo Reckoning, the Maker Faire, and the VEX World Championships.

According to Jason C., a senior and the head of the robotics club, “Robo Reckoning is a preliminary competition, otherwise known as tryout cuts, for Robotics teams. This will determine which ISM team will be sent to the VEX World Championships, which will be in Louisville, Kentucky, USA on April 22 through 25. ISM was able to qualify because they won as Tournament Champions at the VEX Formosa Competition at TAS.”  Mr. Dingrando mentioned that Robo Reckoning will be on March 13 and 14 in the LT.  

The challenge for this year’s VEX Robotics Competition World Championships and the same challenge that will be used in Robo Reckoning is called Tower Takeover. Tower Takeover is played on a 12’x12’ square field, similar to the one in Mr. Dingrando’s robotics classroom. There are two teams, red and blue, and each team has goals on opposite sides of the field. The match between the two teams consists of a 15 second Autonomous Period, and a 1 minute and 45 second Driver Controlled Period. The main objective is to score points by shooting cubes in goals or placing them in towers. Here is a link to the video further explaining the challenge.

Another event to look forward to is the Maker Faire. It’s more than just Robotics.  According to Mr. Dingrando, it includes many creations by people from the ISM community, as well as the Design Technology Club. “Students are generally encouraged to build any type of creation that will appeal to the ISM community, and most projects will be interactive.” The Maker Faire will be held on May 5 in the LT.

When asked why he liked robotics, Jason replied, “It’s my interest in technology and passion for building. What’s really great about robotics is that there is almost no limit to what you can build, even if given the same parts and software. Everything, ranging from competition robots and crane games to flamethrowers and even iconic characters like Wall-E and R2-D2 have been built using the same parts (VEX Robotics). It allows you to bring your creativity to life and see it in action; the feeling of seeing that what you’ve built and coded works really is exciting and fulfilling. With new technologies and ideas coming in every year, the possibilities are endless.” Support your Bearcats in the LT on May 5 during the Robotics Maker Faire!