Nowadays, it is hard to imagine getting to work without a car or being at work without a computer. No matter what people do, they almost always use a piece of technology to get it done.
Though full-fledged robots are still a ways away from being perfected, the Robotics Team at the Mammoth Spring High School tried their hand at building their own robot to compete at a robotics competition at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
The Robotics Team just formed at the beginning of the school year. EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology) Lab Facilitator Joy Underwood and physics-math teacher Mark Taylor have been helping the students prepare, but all of the work is done by the students. The Robotics Team worked with some of the EAST Lab software programs to help them build their robot.
Dennis Wood, a senior at Mammoth Spring High School and a member of the Robotics Team, explained the mechanics of the robot and what it had to be able to do for the competition before the team went to show off their robot in Jonesboro.
The remote controlled robot, the team named Pablo, has wooden and pipe components, as well as, wires, string and metal screws and other materials.
Because the robot's name is Pablo, the team decided to enter their team name as the Pablonians for the competition, said Haley Taylor, a sophomore member of the Robotics Team.
Woods said Pablo has to be able to pick up several items including an inflated globe ball, tennis balls, racket balls and tomato paste cans and put them in a collection basket in an alloted amount of time.
Building the robot isn't all that has to be accomplished. Woods said, "We have to build a robot. We have to have a table display. We have to have an engineering notebook, and we have to have an oral presentation ready and all of those are scored."
Clayton Reed, a senior working on the project, said the arms of the robot were the hardest part to work on. "The arms would be the hardest," Reed said. "They have to lift and close."
Woods said the arms have to be able to do a lot of work. "We wanted our arms to have many functions. We wanted them to be able to travel the length of the platform. We wanted them to rotate. We also wanted the arms to go up and down. We had to build three separate mechanisms to do that," Woods said.
"We worked on fundraising," said David Clark, a senior Robotics member, of himself and Taylor. The group had an outpouring of support from the community. Wood said they were able to raise the $800 needed in about two weeks to compete in the competition in Jonesboro.
When asked what they have learned from working on Pablo, most members responded with, "Teamwork."
The Robotics Team consists of about 22 students, who all did some part of the work on Pablo.
The team competed Oct. 31 against about 16 other teams from around Arkansas.
"It went well," said teacher Mark Taylor. He said the team came back home with Rookie Team of the Year honors.