Sunday, March 22, 2009

Robot Wars---Final Chapter

MECHS Phoenix Flame Force Team
Teachers Andy (left) Mrs. Cuvelier(right)
Notice the cool t-shirts

The robot wars are over much to the delight of son Andy. Not that he didn't enjoy working with this group of very smart, intelligent young people.

The purpose of this competition was to keep balls out of your robots trailer while putting balls into your opponents trailer and to deliver balls to your corner man. There were 60 teams, each with all teenagers who built their robots with the help of teachers, parents and mentors. It was obvious seeing some of these robots that some teams had much better mentors then Andy's kids.

The bus loaded with kids from MECHS and NECHS
That would be Mission Early College High School and
Northwest Early College High School from Canutillo, TX
Notice the RV bringing up the rear.

The arena, very slick surface. There are 6 trailers, 3 blue and 3 red. Three teams are put together to act together as the red team or the blue team. There is also 1 person from each team along the side lines. Their job is to throw balls into the trailers.

Inspection. There were a lot of rules that had to be followed. They are very safety conscious hence the big safety glasses covering the smiling face of Crystal.

The Blue team discussing strategy.

Our little Phoenix. Poor little guy never left the starting gate. A glitch in the programing left us pretty much at stand still for the first couple of rounds. Very frustrating for the team.

This was the part I found the most inspiring. See the young ladies in the red and blue shirts. They are from other teams. Everyone was pitching in trying to find out what the problem was and to get things moving. What a great bunch of young people.

This was the last day of competition. Notice all the tired sleeping kids in the stands.
Poor things didn't get much sleep. Yes that is my Katie and Matty sitting with Neil.

Our baby in action.

This is the winning robot. You can see how much more elaborate this baby is. This team has been doing this competition for 17 years and has 17 engineers as mentors. They are also the World Champions from last year. We came in 22nd out of 60 so not too bad for the first time out. The team learned so much from watching the other robots and talking with other teams. Next year watch out. Instead of an auctioneer as a mentor we will hunt high and low for an engineer.


Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Awesome!!! That little bugger sure built up a head of steam there for a moment, didn't it? I think you guys did great. 22nd out of 60 on the first try? Superduper!
Even if you guys find an engineer or two for next year I hope you will go along to document it again, Pam. This has been fun viewing it thru your eyes.
BTW, where the heck can I get me a hat like that? (the one with flames?)

pamwax said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pamwax said...

It was fun and some of these machines were amazing. Don't know about the hat. That belonged to one of the other teams. Our kids were conservative in their costume. The t-shirt was actually designed by 2 of the girls on the team.

bserendipitous said...

Fantastic, how wonderful that members from other teams helped out and 22nd out of 60 for the first try ain't bad at all...tell them all congratulations and well done and Andy too...great guy!

chaki said...

Good work kids, Andy and Mr and Mrs. Pam (borrowed from SKW) Andy may not be an engineer but by getting his kids to take on such a an arduous challenge, he's taught them plenty. Certain Matt and Katie benefitted as well.

Rio has started taking a Lego engineering course and it's really quite impressive and a lot of fun. Starting in the sixth grade, they put engineering together with robotics and enter competitions like yours.

waxmaniac said...

Yeah, it was all fun and games for the people in the stands. Not so much for the person who had to spend 3 days in a hotel with a bunch of teenagers, do all the work in the pits with no electrical or programming experience whatsoever, to a point of frustration and exhaustion so profound that he left his DVD case, with about 20 movies, in his hotel room. Of course, the hotel never found it.

I hate that damn robot, and when it gets shipped back to me, I will destroy it.

pamwax said...

Well I guess you see how much fun Andy had. He is just upset about all the cool DVD's he lost. Guess I know what I can get him for his birthday.

Jeannie said...

Awww, sorry 'bout your robot, Pam. It looked good though. These glitches can happen though. Those kids should be proud of the good work they put into making it. And it looks like everyone had a good time. That's the important thing. :D

P.S. How are you feeling??

Some Kinda Wonderful said...

Awww waxmaniac, so sorry about your DVDs. Please don't destroy the thing until your mom gets there to snap pics, please? What you did was so awesome. Actually, I think what you do every day as a teacher is even more awesome. Bet your mamma is proud. :)