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RoboExpo showcases robots, dignitaries

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Glencoe High School was taken over by robots Tuesday evening.

Don’t despair, though. They were friendly robots designed and programmed by Hillsboro students in grades kindergarten through 12.

Glencoe High School’s “Team Shockwave” robotics group hosted the RoboExpo, a place for teams from all over the district to showcase their work.by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Members of Glencoe High Schools Team Shockwave load a ball into their robot.

FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Teams are challenged to raise funds, design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program a robot to perform a prescribed task — all under the FRC rules and time limits.

Tuesday night’s event gave younger teams the opportunity to demonstrate their robots, and show off their visual displays and trophies.

The main event of the evening was “bagging and tagging” Team Shockwave’s competition robot. by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Nick Gill and Tin Huynh of Hillsboro High Schools Ultra Lightning Cobra Strike Force robotics team teach Luke McAllister and Peyton Miller how to operate their robots.

“It is an FRC requirement that robots be wrapped, tagged, and shipped to the competition location in advance to ensure that no team is able to work on their robot for more than six weeks, therefore gaining an unfair advantage over others,” said coach Chris Steiner.

For the current competition, teams had to create robots that can throw a large exercise ball through a target. During the upcoming contests (March 7-8 at Oregon City High School and March 20-21 at Wilsonville High School), teams must work closely with randomly assigned alliance teams to complete their robots’ performance task.

Team Shockwave has 32 student members and 15 adult mentors — most of whom are professional engineers. Since January, team members have been working six days per week — 2.5 hours on weekdays and up to 12 hours on Saturdays — to design, build, program and test their robot, Steiner said.

Special guests in attendance Tuesday included U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, state Sen. Bruce Starr and state Rep. Joe Gallegos. Also in attendance was Intel’s corporate affairs manager, Jill Eiland.