The local Vicksburg, MI BullBots team finished their 2016 competition season this month with excellent results. The team, comprised of high school students and mentors, designed, engineered, and assembled a robot to participate in the national FIRST robotics competition. FIRST is a youth program "For Inspiration Recognition of Science and Technology". In two events the BullBots team competed well and made it into the semi-finals of the competition! This was truly an outstanding finish for their 5th year participating in the FIRST program.
The team, led by mentors from FEMA Corporation, built a robot capable of picking up 8" diameter game balls, transporting them across obstacles, and firing them at the opposing team's target. The robot featured a twin motor drive system with 6 powered wheels and 8 non-powered wheels. Game balls were picked up using a loading screw system and fed into a shooting mechanism via a rotating flap lift. Extensive LabVIEW programming allowed the students to drive the robot and control all of its functions wirelessly via twin joysticks.