WW’18: Robotics holds presentation

Lilly Stoller and Emma Nallet

On Thursday, Feb. 1, the robotics class put on a Winter Week activity for the school. The class is composed of six students from all grades and is taught by science teacher Paul Shiffler.

The projects students made encompassed all of what they learned during the first semester. The class had to learn the basics before starting to make their final robot.

“We started by learning a little bit about the hardware of the robots, so the different types of motors, different types of structures and things like that,” Shiffler said. “Then, after that, they learned the software that controls all of the parts. After, they learn programming and how to get the whole thing to work together.”

Throughout the semester, the students have progressed and learned many new skills in robotics. They have used the basic skills they learned at the beginning and incorporated them into their final bots.

“This was our second quarter project. At first, we worked with smaller bots that already had an app that we could use to program it without the use of phones,” senior Thomas Daley said. “It had its own controller, but this was a lot more advanced.”

For their final project, the six students partnered into three groups and each pair made their own robots from scratch. The robots’ names are Tic, Tac and Toe.

“We built these robots from scratch and they are made from just random parts,” sophomore Jack Melvin said. “Then, with the help of Mr. Shiffler, we created a connection between two old phones that allows both controllers to talk to each other, so when you go forward it reacts and spins the wheels forward.”

The preparation for Winter Week has been an important commitment for these students, and they have invested a lot of time in the construction of robots.

“For these robots, they followed a plan, so when we did this game all of the robots would be similar and work the same,” Shiffler said. “It took at least two or three blocks to build the robots and then a nearly infinite number to actually get the robots to work. So, it just takes a lot of time.”

For the Winter Week activity, the class raced their robots in front of their peers. Each robot had its own lane and the goal was to race across the room and back the fastest.

“I thought it was really cool to watch, and it was very interesting,” junior Sam Neuman said. “Watching these robots move was inspiring for me to one day build a robot.”