On May 24, three members of the Kaiserslautern Robotics Club had chance to participate in an all German robotics competition, called the World Robot Olympiad. This was the first year the team from Kaiserslautern High School participated in this event, and it was an incredible challenge being the only English speaking team at the event.
This year the theme of the WRO was “space.” Elementary teams had to build a robot that could assemble a rocket. Junior teams had to build a robot that could move satellites. Senior teams, including the team from KHS, had to build a robot that could manipulate and even change out solar panels on a space station.
Students worked with mentors during the build season to create and program a robot to accomplish all the little sub-tasks involved in the challenge. Even though the build season was a couple months long, on game day the students had to arrive with just a box of parts and re-build their robot on site. Additionally, the students were not able to control their robot via remote control during the heats. Each task had to be pre-programmed so the robot could run autonomously during the rounds.
After all the rounds were completed, the Kaiserslautern team placed ninth with a score of -40 points, which wasn’t too bad considering the third place team had a score of -25.
Event organizers agreed this year’s event was very challenging and they were pleased at how well everyone did.
The team is looking forward to returning next year.
“Despite all the complications that arose, I enjoyed competing there and felt privileged to represent KHS at the WRO,” said first time robotics club member Zachary Branham.
For more about the WRO, visit http://worldrobotolympiad.de/wro2014-uebersicht.
If interested in being a mentor coach with the KHS Robotics Club, email Christopher Putnam at email@example.com.