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Robotics Club

Jackson Winters, Staff Writer

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       Colin Angle, one of the founders of the company iRobot once said: “People are fascinated by robots because they’re machines that can mimic life.” The robotics team seems to be just that. In a room with countertops that are overflowing with scattered tools and pieces, they are truly embodying the idea that Colin Angle proposed. As a team, they work together each year to create their own fully functioning, efficient robot. This is done through a coalition of both builders and coders.

        The builder’s job seems simple, but in reality it is far more complex than just putting the pieces together. The robots this team constructs are no Lego sets or models, they are machines formulated entirely by a team, and made by a team. The builder’s primary job is to construct an efficient robot as well as formulate ideas on how to make the robot’s job easier in competition.

        The coder’s job is quite different. As a coder, you program the robot to a cell phone in order to control it. To have a proper amount of control, the programmers must take time to code each and every maneuver the robot makes, and to look for any holes that could cause it to malfunction.

        In a competition, the PB Robotics team is assigned an ally robot from another school to compete against two other robots from their own respective school. The goal of these competitions is to achieve the most points in the time allotted, which can be done in a variety of ways. There are smaller giveaways that are easier to achieve, and much larger ones that are more difficult. As of now, the team has designed this particular robot to shoot for the largest prize by building a pulley system that will effectively lift a large ball from the ground into a basket elevated into the air.

        Sam Traxel, one of the two returning members to this year’s team, said that the specialization in science and technology initially drew him in, but the success in districts last year captivated him. Last year, after arriving to districts and forgetting their remotes, Sam said the team felt down and out. However, they went through the registration process, and their coach’s husband returned the remotes just before they were required to compete. A placement in districts put them on track to state, where they once again faced adversity, said Sam. They were seemingly out-classed by high schools with a stronger foothold in robotics, but Sam says that he feels more confident this year in the efficiency of their robot.

        Overall, the Robotics team is a group that is not short in creativity and skill. The impeccable amount of hard work and dedication put in by coders and builders alike have created an organization with a bright future, looking ahead to this year’s first competition on Saturday.

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Robotics Club