Earlier this year, Bradford White donated funds for a portable competition field and the grant provided funds for additional parts to build the robots. Co-coaches Alex Robinson and Bob Kaminski said this kind of support is exactly what they need to help grow the program and give students more opportunities to directly work with robotics.
The portable competition field gives students a better chance of accurately programming their robots to perform certain tasks within the field as they will be required to do in competitions.
“We can put this portable field together in about 10 minutes,” said Robinson. “It gives us a place to really test the robots and how they will perform. It’s a huge benefit to have this available.”
Kaminski said the field gives students a better chance to work on their autonomous plans and program their robots to correctly complete the assigned tasks - such as picking up items from the competition floor and putting them in baskets located in opposite corners of the field. Using the field makes programming the robots more relevant as students can actually see where they need to make adjustments before going to competitions in January and February.
“We are super appreciative of Bradford White helping us out. It means a lot that a local company is reaching out to help our students compete and achieve great things,” said Robinson.
Kaminski echoed the thanks. “This is so fantastic to have this available and to have the support of a local company. It means a lot.”
Kaminski said he hopes the donation and other funding grants will help grow the robotics program at the school. “Right now, we only have two robots but we would love to add more with more students and teams involved.”
He said robotics is not just about building and programming robots, Students have to problem solve and be creative as they work out solutions. “If something doesn’t work, they have to figure out ways to change something to make it work,” said Kaminski.
Using robotics is something students can use beyond high school. Many industries today use robots in some way. Manufacturing, health care, agriculture, food preparation and the military are the leading areas using robotics. They can use robots for painting, welding, picking and placing objects, packaging and labeling, assembly and disassembly to name a few.