Nessa Short ’18 and Ana Chambers ’19 represented White Mountain in an impressive way this past Saturday at a Robotics competition at Kennet High School in Conway, NH. Nathan Carlson P’20, Director of Technology, coaches the team. He wrote the following recap of the competition and described Ana’s and Nessa’s diligent preparation and noteworthy performance.
The pits opened at 7:30 and inspection of the robots went from 8:00 to 8:45. Nessa and Ana quickly unloaded the van and began working on their robot to make sure batteries were fresh, bolts were tightened, and any lingering issues were fixed. There are two parts to each match, the autonomous mode and the driver controlled mode. In the autonomous mode, the robot must be preprogrammed to complete a task and the program is written in C. The driver has no control during this 15 second period and relies completely on the skills of the programmer. The team was very successful in this part of the competition and earned a rank in the top 10.
Ana joined robotics just a few weeks ago after the robot was already built, and she jumped right in learning how to write code. For this competition, she worked on getting the robot to complete a specific task. She installed a switch on the front of the robot which allows it to sense impact, at which point its claw releases its grip on a cone. The cone then falls on its target and scores a point. This small but very intricate detail helped the team move forward in the competition quickly.
Nessa was the driver of the robot. She practices often in the robotics room and built the majority of the robot. After the 15 second autonomous part of the competition, Nessa had to drive and work with an assigned team to stack cones, distract the other team, and to strategically maneuver the robot to score more points than the opposing team. The driver has 1 minute and 30 seconds to complete this task with four other robots on the field, all trying to score points and block others from doing so. Nessa and Ana completed this task very well and finished the tournament in 5th place overall out of 31 teams.
The Robotics team also took part in a competition in Manchester on October 22. Nickel Carlson ’20 and Carter Chambers ’21 represented the A team and placed 5th out of 42 teams. Carter programmed the robot and Nickel built a new claw on the end of the robot during the competition. Ana and Nessa as well as Lydia Pinkham ’20 represented the B team and placed 14th. Everyone is showing great progress and looking forward to their next competition on December 2 in Pembroke, NH.