It’s the ultimate battle of the bots at the FIRST World Championship in Houston, Texas starting Wednesday.
FIRST stands for ‘For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology’. And one team from Sun River is headed back again after rising to the top two years ago.
MTN caught up with the group before their trip.
Sun River Rednek Robotics Coach Chuck Merja says his team is ready to turn up the heat in their FIRST Tech Challenge division at Worlds in Houston.
The varsity team of 6 says they’re confident heading into competition; they’ve had since September to build their robot they named Chobani, after a yogurt cup became the perfect launchpad for whiffle balls.
“There’s still a Chobani cup on our robot so, we decided it saved us a lot of time and it was worthy being named,” said Sun River Rednek Robotics Team Member Winston Fee.
While the team has some creative wiggle room, they must work with specific requirements for the competition including building Chobani to fit into an 18 by 18-inch cube.
“We have to use their particular motors, we can’t use anything, we can’t have toxic elements or dangerous elements in our robotic and we have to build it specifically to fit in the game manual in order to pass inspection before the competition,” said Sun River Rednek Robotics Team Member Ilaya Payne.
The team also makes around 75% of their robots’ parts to cut down on production costs while learning more valuable skills in science, technology, engineering, and math.
“Everything from the side plates to the 3D printed parts to even the funky looking surgical tubing harvesters on the sides,” said Payne.
During FIRST Tech Challenge game, teams in a competition rink must form alliances with other competitors.
The groups then demonstrate certain abilities during three separate phases of the challenge while trying to earn the most points.
One of Chobani’s strengths is being able to shoot whiffle balls into a…