2017-07-19 / School News

Relentless Robotics KoalaBOTS attend Invitational

Relentless Robotics KoalaBOTS participants Savannah Lincoln, Tory Wakelin, Jasmyn Beihl, Tiffany Craft with Robotic Team Director Ken Craft and Jessica Beihl Emmons. Relentless Robotics KoalaBOTS participants Savannah Lincoln, Tory Wakelin, Jasmyn Beihl, Tiffany Craft with Robotic Team Director Ken Craft and Jessica Beihl Emmons. Relentless Robotics KoalaBOTS attended NASA's first Mountain State Invitational at Fairmont State University on July 7-9. The team of four girls from Morgan County is Savannah Lincoln, Tory Wakelin, Jasmyn Beihl and Tiffany Craft.

On day one the team was forced to spend several hours at the hotel to re-program their robot. A score of 39 in the first round landed the robot in 40th place out of 40. The girls never faltered and returned to day two enthusiastic and confident in their changes. The third round proved to be their best, completing all, but the last two missions they had programmed. The have 2 minutes and 30 seconds at the competition board.

At the final score tally, they ended up somewhere in the middle of the mix. The team had assimilated into the experience of the event. They were interacting with kids their age from all over the world that were champions in their home state or country and the KoalaBOTS had taken their place alongside of all of them. They met teams from Brazil and Uruguay and Canada whom welcomed them graciously into a family of young budding engineers, teams from California, Ohio and Florida, whom all had completely unique solutions to solving the robot missions, but most important of all, they were having fun – a core value of F.I.R.S.T Lego League.

Along with the robot, the girls submitted their project and presentation for the Skunkinator 2.0; a live trap with a remote control to open the cage from a distance. The Skunkinator 2.0 is the team’s innovative design to solve a problem they identified over the season through their research. Each season the teams are presented with a theme and the challenge to come up with a problem facing society, and an innovative solution to that problem. Animal

Control took time out to talk to the team back in November and the girls identified accidental skunk trappings as the area they wanted to research. They learned that not only are people in danger of getting sprayed by the skunk when they go to manually release them, but the Skunk can become sick or experience heart trouble from the stress of interacting with humans. The Skunkinator 2.0 minimizes the difficulties for both the human and the skunk by giving the human the ability to open the trap remotely from about 25 feet away.

The team designed, and built a working prototype which they demonstrated for a team of judges. The winners of the project portion of the competition could potentially have their project sent for a patent application. While the project was innovative and garnished great response from the judges, they did not receive an award.

There will be a trap demonstration this weekend at the Morgan County Expo.

Relentless Robotics 4H Club currently meets Tuesday evenings at the old Health Department offices in the Community Center building on Green Street. The 2017/18 season begins on August 1 and is open to new team members. There are teams for children ages six to 18. For more information contact Coach Ken Craft (ken.craft.wv@live.com) or Cindy Smalley at the WVU Extension Office.

Mentors and coaches are needed for the next season. Retirees that have engineering experience, marketing and management experience and business executives also have knowledge that will help the kids learn the tools they need to be successful. If interested in sharing your knowledge contact the extension office. An adult training session during the month of August will be held.

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Great article!

Great article! Congratulations Koalabots!