Emerson Industrial Automation sponsored a team from Larry A. Ryle High School in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics regional competition held at Purdue University in March. This is the second year Emerson has sponsored a team from Ryle in the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). This year, 40 teams competed in a series of three-on-three basketball shooting contests to vie for a chance to earn part of the $14 million in scholarships offered.
The FIRST Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under the mentorship of engineers, parents and teachers, teams of students are challenged to raise funds, design a team "brand," hone teamwork skills and build and program a remote controlled robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors, all under strict rules, limited resources and specific time limitations. This year's competition focused on programming a robot to collect basketballs and propel them through a hoop.
"Using a Solids modeling program, our kids from Ryle were challenged to design and fabricate a robot that could navigate obstacles, pick up balls and actually sink a basket. They went from concept to a functioning robot in two weeks," said David Lindsay, PE, Global P/N data process manager, Emerson Power Transmission Solutions and mentor to the Ryle team. "The process teaches students valuable life lessons about the pitfalls of design paralysis, time constraints, design constraints and budget limitations. It tests their technical skills and provides an opportunity for them to work together and eventually compete as members of a team."
Members of the Ryle High School team included Hope DeBoer, Kyle DeBoer, Luke Hawtrey, Christian Howard, Chris Knight, Clayton Lamb, Connor Lamb, Ryan Trostle and Deanna Williams. "I am extremely proud of the students on the Ryle team who sacrificed their nights and weekends to successfully finish our robot on time and within budget," added Lindsay.