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franklin county times

Robotics program continues to grow

The RCS Engineering team recently competed at the Alabama Robotics Competition and gained some valuable experience for a new year of competitions in the 2012-2013 school year.
The group took two teams – a high school team represented by Dakota Bond and Bernie Moussad; and a middle school team represented by Daniel Balding.
The high school team came in eighth out of 15 teams and the middle school team came in 12th out of 15 teams.
“This was the first time we have ever competed at this particular competition and I thought the students did a good job,” sponsor Lee Brownell said.
Brownell said the competition was mainly a programming competition where students were asked to build a robot out of any type of material and program it to complete three different fields. Students then had three hours to complete the fields and receive the best score possible.
“The first field was a baseball diamond where the robot had to successfully go around the bases,” Brownell said. “The second was a maze made out of bricks with black squares placed inside. The robot had to cross as many black squares as it could before getting out of the maze. The last one was a set of black squares laid out in a pattern. The robot could be placed at any point and had to follow a certain route.”
Brownell said the programming aspect of the competition was something he believed would be beneficial for the students in the future.
“The objective was to teach the programming aspect of robotics, which can be used in real world jobs,” he said. “NAVISTAR is about to open in the Shoals and they are looking for people to program their equipment, so this competition helps prepare the kids for fields like that.”