Robotics Club Works Hard to Compete

News, Robotics, Rotator — By on December 18, 2014 3:46 pm

Mount Vernon hosts meet tonight (Dec. 18) at Community Bible Church beginning at 5:30

By Isaiah Exley-Schuman

The robotics team competes Dec. 2 at Cedar Rapids Jefferson. Photo by Sam Marshall.

The robotics team competes Dec. 2 at Cedar Rapids Jefferson. Photo by Sam Marshall.

Whirrs and clicks and ticks can be heard around the laboratory, muffled by the sound of circular saws and grinding gears in the background as a group of eleven people huddle around a whiteboard fighting for the best idea. This is a standard evening at the robotics lab.

The laboratory, located uptown in the attic of the First Presbyterian Church, is a hub of activity between 3:30 and 5:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. “We often stay up here for days at a time when competition rolls around.” Nate Barnhart says jokingly, although the lab has been open to students seven days a week on some occasions.

What requires so much time and effort from students? One robot. Every year a game is announced in which a robot (made to certain specifications) is built to compete alongside another bot against two others in a series of matches. With three teams, these students have a lot to be busy about.

When asked about his involvement as a team leader, Nate Barnhart said “It’s very challenging. It tries my patience some days.”

Robotics can be difficult, but Nate also states he has enjoyed a lot of this year. One of the mentors this year, Dave Keller, says that the best part of robotics is “Watching you guys win lots of matches!”
Speaking of matches, The next match all three Mount Vernon teams will be held at the Cedar Rapids Public Library on Jan. 7 at 4:30 pm. Everyone is invited to attend!

So, even after a rough season so far, the MV teams are showing their stripes as pioneers in their field. If you would like to join a team or learn more, contact Mr. Scearce.

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