Success in high school robotics competitions requires engineering acumen, preparation and precision.
Then there are times when you just have to go for it.
Fitch High School’s robotics team, the Aluminum Falcons Team 2168, wasn’t getting the control it needed for the mechanism that controlled its robot's Frisbee-shooting arm during last Saturday’s WPI Regional FIRST Robotics Tournament in Worcester, Mass.
The team took a chance and decided to rebuild the arm on the spot, replacing motors, gears, chains with a pneumatic piston, tubes and an air compressor.
“During that time, we missed three of our last four qualification matches,” said Brian Chidley, coach and Fitch science teacher. “We dropped in rank to 10th place, but what we gained was better control of our shooting angle.”