‘We are ready to go’

Cory
Cory Hurley
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High school robotics team vying for one of two spots at international competition

While most students take the entire Easter vacation to relax and get a break from all school-related activities, members of the Corner Brook Regional High Titan Robotics team have been hard at work.

There is no time for rest when the nine-member team is hoping to earn a spot in the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) international competition in Alpena, Mich. in June.

First step, designing and hopefully perfecting an aquatic robot ideal for marine archeology. The team has been eyeing such technology since September, but really working hard on it since January. This week, the students have been trying to iron out the kinks at the Greenwood Inn and Suites pool in preparation for the flume tank at Marine Institute of Memorial University in St. John’s next week.

The next step is the 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) event May 2-3.

Some of the team was at the same event last year and Rebecca Davis said they surpassed their own expectations. Their fifth place finish was definitely enough to have team members shooting for one of the two spots that will go to the international competition.

“I am feeling really hopeful this year,” Davis said, while taking a break from testing the ‘Titan 2.’ “We are ready to go.”

As Kody Gardner manned the controls and computer functions, the team was concentrating on perfecting the robots buoyancy Wednesday at the pool.

Matthew English said the project has been a challenge.

“Some of the things we have to figure out is like, ‘I don’t know how we are going to do this,’” he said. “The trouble shooting stuff is not hard, it is just time consuming. It is constant repetition until something finally works.

“Trying to get the initial ideas is really, really difficult.”

The vehicle itself has to perform underwater mission tasks. The group also has to prepare a poster with respect to the scope description, a presentation for a panel of engineering judges, and a technical report if they are chosen to go to the international competition.

English said the experience has been more than just preparing for the event.

“If you have an interest in stuff like this, which I do, it is nice to have this background and see what it is all about,” he said. “The idea of being able to design them and knowing what they do and being able to drive them, is interesting.”

Meanwhile, Davis is eyeing system design engineering as a career. She said the step-by-step, hands-on design of every element of the robot has been a learning experience.

Organizations: Corner Brook Regional High Titan Robotics, Advanced Technology, Greenwood Inn Marine Institute of Memorial University Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Marine Advanced Technology Education

Geographic location: Alpena, Mich.

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