Loyola’s VEX U Robotics team continues to make great progress in just their third year of existence. This year’s competition was more complex than last year as two robots had to be built. One robot had a rotating forklift to pick up disks and flip them over. The other robot had a ball cannon to launch balls at a target and a lifting hopper to collect and load the balls. In addition, the students had to learn to write code for the new V5 hardware system. Despite these challenges, the students managed to complete both robots and field a competitive team. The VEX U team experienced significant growth, with over twenty-five student members that covered the disciplines of engineering, computer science, biology, and business.
The team traveled to West Virginia on March 1, 2019 to compete in a VEX U tournament held at Fairmont State University. The team won their first match, but faced some fierce competition the rest of the way. Team morale was very high and a great experience was had by all. Dr. Mary Lowe, one of the faculty advisors of the VEX U team, accompanied the team to West Virginia. She stated:
"I was amazed by several things. First because of delays with the supplier, we got the V5 parts really late, but the students were able to rapidly learn how to work with the hardware and software. Second one week before competition, the shooter robot still didn’t have a reliable cannon and loading mechanism. Through sheer hard work, dedication and drive, the students pulled together the robot, and it performed admirably in competition."
Video of the shooter robot in action at the competition is posted on the Loyola Robotics Facebook page. One team member, Nick Gianino (Loyola Class of 2022), was a newcomer to the team this year and was an integral part of the competition team. He reports:
"The time I spent working on the robot with my fellow teammates was easily some of the most fun that I have had during my college experience. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to complete a project and then watch it work and perform. On top of this, I had the privilege of driving the robot that I coded, which meant that I was able to add my own personal touch to the controls. Winning our first game was also an incredible experience, which raised our morale to a whole new level. I can’t wait to participate again next year!"
Nick is a sophomore student in Loyola’s electrical engineering program and is pictured holding the controls in the photo.
The team is excited about competing again next year and has already started planning. They continue to meet on Friday afternoons in their workspace located on the first floor of the library. If you are interested in joining the team or want more information, please contact the student leaders of the Robotics Club: Rachel Jarman (firstname.lastname@example.org) and William Torres (email@example.com).
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