This is to provide a recap on the Lovett Robotics Team’s activities to date, as we prepare for our first competition, which will be held this weekend (Saturday, Oct 4) at the Georgia World Congress Center (from 7:30am to 5:00pm)
1. Participants: 33 Lovett students have expressed interest in being on the Lovett Robotics Team. We have been meeting about 2 times a week and generally have about 15 students attend each time. Most of the kids are sophomores and juniors. Benjamin Yarmowich is the Team Captain. Jennifer Landon is the Team Treasurer. Ethan Goldfarb is the Chief Engineer. Davis Rackley is the Chief Safety Officer.
2. Club Name: The team name is the Lovett Roarbotics Team, leveraging the Lovett heritage in ‘the Lions.’ Georgia FIRST has assigned us a team number: 5482.
3. Fundraising: We are applying for the NASA Grant for $5,000 to $6,000. The grant is open to any team, however, there were many restrictions. We are working very hard to complete the lengthy application, which is due on Thursday, Oct 2. We should hear sometime in December. The funds will be used towards FIRST membership and to purchase robotic supplies and miscellaneous expenses.
4. We have a Robot!: When initially setting up the club, we were seeking counsel from Connie Haynes, who is in charge of the Georgia Chapter of FIRST. We told her that our intent was to start the club in school year 2015-2016 so we would have time to raise the needed funds to purchase a robot; she informed us that Peachtree Ridge High School (in Suwanee) had an extra robot that they were willing to donate to a ‘rookie team.’
On Friday, Sept 26, a group of 9 Lovett Students, along with chaperones Mr. Amar and Mr. Yarmowich (parent), visited Peachtree Ridge High School and accepted their surplus robot! We spent 2 hours with them, learning how to operate the robot and safety issues.
The Robot is 115 pounds and is about 4.5 feet tall. It works surprisingly well... it drives about 8 miles an hour. So far, we have figured out how to spin the robot in a circle and catapult an exercise ball across the room.
5. FIRST Competition: GRITS (http://www.gafirst.org/index.php/events/frc/grits) We are going to the GRITS competition! I am anticipating between 10 and 15 students at this weekend’s competition.
This low-key event has invited teams (Veteran, Rookie, and Pre-Rookie) from all over Georgia and beyond to come together to share experiences, learn from each other, build new friendships, practice and compete with robots, and have fun! This is also an opportunity to bring new team members, mentors, or sponsors up to speed on what FIRST is really all about.
Next steps: Week of 9/29: Team will be practicing: look out for the large robot in the Lovett loading dock area after school and during US lunch.
Thursday 10/2: Deadline to complete NASA grant application
Friday 10/3: After school, go to GWCC to set up and practice.
Saturday 10/4: The Lovett team will be at the GWCC. The public is welcome to watch the robots compete in the 2014 FIRST Robotics Competition game – Aerial Assist! The robots compete in 3 team alliances and score by passing and shooting giant exercise balls through end goals much like basketball.