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Engineering club bot does battle in the ring

The SHS battlebot team works on their bot during a break. The competition took place at Buffalo Grove High School on Feb. 23 and 24.

Saxon Staff

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Two gladiators enter the ring ready to do battle–a battle to the death.  Ladies and gentlemen…it’s “robot fighting time.”

That was the scene on Friday, February 23 and Saturday, February 24, as the SHS engineering club helped turn Buffalo Grove High School into a battleground for their robot warriors.

Schaumburg’s battlebot won one match and lost two, sending the team to the battle royal where they were fought other teams who had been knocked out.  The results, however, did not reflect the ingenuity and teamwork the group displayed, as they worked to address damage inflicted throughout the battles.

The battle itself was the culmination of months of preparation; students in the engineering club engage in a lengthy, difficult process. First designed the bot entirely in a 3D modeling software called Inventor.  From there, the design is moved into a basic CAD/CAM software where toolpaths are created.  Eventually the parts are machined from half inch polycarbonate. Once parts are machined, the battle bots are assembled and prepped for battle.

Brody Adelman”

— Designing and building the robot also helped to develop our ability to work as a team, incorporating each other’s ideas and expertise and working towards a common goal: Creating a formidable battle bot.

“The best part for me personally was design the bot in 3d modeling softwares,” Singh added.”We have awesome teachers that helped us with every step of the processes and thought us how to operate the machines safely.”

The team ran into several issues in the designing and building phase.

“A super big challenge we had is trying to create a battle robot with such a small amount of money,” Pranay Singh said.

This type of competition transcends the classroom and helps with applied learning.

“This competition is good for the students because it creates an atmosphere of learning combined with competition not often seen in the classroom,” engineering club sponsor Kevin Sullivan said. “To think of this as strictly an academic event isn’t giving this event credit.  There has to be a desire to win.  You really want to deal as much damage to the other bot.  To be effective at that, you have to understand how the physical world works.  Knowledge and a competitive mindset go hand in hand.”

The team came together to work through the technological aspects of the process but also found common ground working with students of various backgrounds and abilities.

“During the process of designing and creating the battle bot, we gained technological skills from wiring as well as mechanical skills from designing and constructing the physical robot,” Brody Adelman said. “Designing and building the robot also helped to develop our ability to work as a team, incorporating each other’s ideas and expertise and working towards a common goal: Creating a formidable battle bot.”

While students competing do so on competitive and social level, skill obtained in the process help market students for future careers in the manufacturing world.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the students who completed the CAD [computer aided drafting] modeling couldn’t use those inventor files as a form of resume or job application,” Mr. Sullivan added. “Students in our manufacturing program here at SHS that Mr. Kuipers teaches have accepted jobs and received promotions for their CAD modeling skills in local machine shops and are making really good money.”

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Engineering club bot does battle in the ring