They came, they saw, they did the robot.
A few weeks ago the Martha’s Vineyard Charter school entered the annual Botball championships held at the University of Massachusetts Lowell Costello gym. And they kicked some metallic butt.
What is botball you might ask? Teams of high school students are given six weeks to design and build a robot, which is then put through a series of tasks at the competition. The program is managed by the non-profit KISS Institute for Practical Robotics (KISS standing for Keep It Simple Stupid). But the event is anything but simple.
The robots are not managed by remote control. That’s kindergarten stuff for these future Steve Jobs in the making. Rather, these robots are autonomous, acting on their own, really, thanks to computer programming wizardry.
The Charter school fielded two teams; most schools only had one team in the competition.
Separately they did well: The boys’ team comprised of Zale Narkiewicz, Franklin Pelcher, Cassius Paquet, and Jared Rivard placed 5th overall, and the girls’ team featuring Violet Kennedy, Bella Maidoff, Lucy Thompson, and Alistair Rizza won the Spirit Award.
But together they dominated, winning 1st place in an alliance match.