Holley said the robots are taken away so they are not worked on during the month between the finish date and the competition. A practice day is held at the March regional for teams to finalize and test their robots.
Ed Latimer, a Ponca City team mentor who helped with Saturday’s event, said the challenge is “basically a soccer game. They have goals at the corners of the area with dividers in the middle.”
“It’s basically, what I can tell, scoring points by getting balls in the goal and that is not as easy as that sounds because you have other robots on the field trying to keep you from scoring,” Markum said.
Holley said, “If the robot can pull itself up off the ground in the last seconds of the game and another friendly robot can grab a hold of it and pull itself off the ground then they get maximum points.”
Meridian team member Cody Fowler of Mulhall-Orlando High School said he is looking forward seeing how the robot performs in the end.
Fowler said he liked “that we get to do it ourselves — the teachers don’t butt in and do it themselves.”
“If we do something wrong, they let us and then they help you fix it,” Fowler said. “You’re building.”
Fowler’s teammate Anthony Abela of Guthrie High School said programming would be the most challenging aspect of the competition for him since “computer’s aren’t friendly.”
“I’ve always wanted to build a robot,” Abela said. “I thought it would be a good experience. Something I could put under my belt.”
The Meridian information technology major said the work would help him in his chosen career path. Abela plans to attend OSU next fall for networking technology.
Both Stillwater teams will continue their robot building throughout the next six weeks.
Updates on their work will be provided in upcoming editions.