Insights

Robots!

Pensar Development partners with the Palouse Area Robotics Team for this years FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition.

The 4-H PART (Palouse Area Robotics Team) SciBorgs, based in rural eastern Washington are beginning their 6th year as FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) TEAM 4061. They are part of the Pacific Northwest District which consists of 154 high school robotics teams from Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Pensar employees Aaron Johnson and Trent Wetherbee have been valuable resources for these aspiring engineers, scientists, coders, and business entrepreneurs.  Here’s a video  of a qualifying match from last year to see what it’s all about.

The SciBorgs started this year’s FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition) season on January 7th—when the FRC game was revealed to over 3,000 teams around the globe. Teams receive a kit of parts along with the game manual and other valuable information. Students then have only six weeks to design, build, and trouble shoot a competition robot weighing about 120 pounds. This process involves computer-aided design, math calculations, programming, electronics, and hours in the shop building from mostly aluminum and plastic.

The theme this year is SteamWorks and centers around preparing airships for flight. Its goal is to collect and shoot 5 inch wiffle balls into a steam stack to gain points and build steam. Also points are accumulated as you retrieve and place large gears onto the airship located in the center of the playing field. With enough gears delivered to the pilots on the airship, each of the four rotors will begin to spin. At the end of the game, each robot must climb their rope to signal that they’re ready to takeoff. The game is a three-on-three competition where alliances and strategies are key to winning and moving on to the next level of play.

The 30 students and 16 professional mentors are busy making prototypes of collectors, shooters, and many other different components needed to make their robot. The SciBorgs are hoping to gain a spot to go to the World Championships for the fourth year in a row. Their first competition will be March 3rd  and 4th  at West Valley High School in Spokane Valley. Their second district event will be at CWU in Ellensburg on March 17th and 18th.  If you want to follow along, here are links to their website and facebook page.