This year's game, Blade Runner, is focused on the manufacturing of windmills in a safe, efficient manner that does not harm endangered species in the area. The objective of the game is to use your robot to move the windmill parts from one side of the field to the other in order to assemble the windmills appropriately. Of course, several obstacles lie in the way. To begin with, there are endangered prairie chickens that should be moved to a safe location in order to not harm the environment. A proper permit must be acquired to move and travel with the windmill components. Finally, the robot must be able to cross to the other side of the field in one of two ways: one is going through the rough road (half dowels laid out criss-crossed), the other is to travel over the bridge. After the components have been brought over to the other side of the field appropriately, the robot must then work with the human player to move and position the components in the proper spots in the windmill. Once all the components of that windmill are in place, the human player can then proceed to raise the windmill and put it in the vertical position. This year's challenge also gives the opportunity for collaboration between teams in which must be declared before the match. If teams decide to collaborate, a barrier between their fields will be lowered in the beginning of the match and teams will be allowed to cross over into the other team's field. However, a robot may not pass the bridge of another team's field. Collaboration allows for quicker construction of the windmill in addition to bonus collaboration points for assembling the windmill.
One tool that was imperative to our engineering and design process was the first week of the competition, which we used solely for developing a strategy, creating prototypes and CADing models that may be useful inorder to solve this years challenges. This helps avoid major problems on competition day. We used SolidWorks as our CADing software and was useful in running stress tests and saves us time, because we don't have to react to problems in a trial and error process. This allows our robot would meet and exceed our demands for this year's game.
We also spent a solid amount of time testing the robot and its designs to ensure that they could withstand the stress with human error (when building it). In order to ensure accuracy and precision, we made multiple prototypes which helped us test the specific parts of the robot after we had a basic chassis.
These items helped us a lot in engineering a robot and making it the BEST.
Our robot, Le Shredster has been engineered to perfection through our engineering process , with a combination of robust design and creativity. Westwood Robotics strives to make the robot you see to be unique, and we have succeeded in doing so this year. Based off of designs from previous years, our robot has a dual axis claw which allows us to reach high places (such as the latch or the height of the windmill) along with pickup multiple items at once (such as the chicken coops) which makes us truly unique. We hope our uniqueness will aid in inspiring everyone, including ourselves, that anything is possible is you put your mind towards it.
The Westwood Robotics team is made up of a diverse set of students all striving toward the same goal, to inspire new opportunities through technology.
Our team consists of students of all grade levels, from freshman to senior. Westwood Robotics members come from various backgrounds. We are an ethnically minority team.
Our members also have a wide range of interests; including band, orchestra, dance, soccer, lacrosse, swimming and everything else in between.Our club offers a large parent network and mentor system. Our mentors and parents are more to us than just chaperones; they offer us guidance and act as our support system and as our instructors. To say the least, the Westwood Robotics team is a group of intelligent individuals with great potential.
Our club was founded many years ago, back before any of our current members were at Westwood. Ancient records revealed that at this time in our history the Westwood Robotics Club had participated actively in the early years of the BEST robotics competition, although we do not know much else. Just like many great civilizations before it, suddenly the club and its glory vanished, leaving very little behind.
In 2007 Collin Buchan and Eric Wood joined up to resurrect the club, determined to keep it from fading away ever again. Before long many other students started following them, and within the first month they had the manpower they needed to realize their vision of the club's future. Harnessing the finest brainpower Westwood had to offer, we were once again on track, taking on the annual BEST challenge in stride. But that only served to fan the flames of our passion for robotics, and before long we were hungry for more action.
The club evolved into a powerful engineering force almost overnight, and the very next year Westwood students ascended to the next level by qualifying for the Texas BEST championships. In the years following, a group of students who had learned under these two passionate revisionists continued out their legacy, even though they had both graduated. Westwood robotics has continued to qualify for the Texas BEST championships since then, currently for four, going on five, consecutive years. This dynastic success comes regardless of the hardships the club has suffered, including strife within the school causing several switches in teacher-sponsors and constant relocations of the club’s arsenal of tools.
Two years ago, we earned 2nd place for the BEST Award as well as Robot performance in the regional competition. Following regionals we Finished 4th in the state competition against 500+ other schools. Last year, we advanced to state in the robot competition, winning the creative design award for cleverly designing a way to accomplish part of the challenge and including it on our robot.
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