By Devin Corbitt
The Belton Journal
The Belton Robotics Team at Belton High School will head to the Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) Robotics competition Saturday, the first for 15 of the 16 team members. This year’s Robotics team was tasked with creating a vehicle that can transport wind turbines.
“Every year, there’s a theme to the game,” Robotics coach Toni Greene said. “With the increase in wind turbine technology, the need to transport these ginormous has increase. That’s this year’s theme: transporting these giant wind turbines and the problems and issues associated with it.”
The goal of BEST Robotics is teaching students how to operate within a successful company. Each student has specific roles within the team, modeled after a real company.
“We model a company who’s making a product,” Greene said. “We want to see that to our consumers, which are our judges. So it’s modeling a business, essentially.”
The BHS team, named Skynet Transportation, has built a robot named T3. During the competition, the robot must maneuver a series of tasks, including rescuing “prairie chickens” and relocating them to another part of the set.
The team as a whole has a lot of confidence in their creation. One of their biggest advantages is their unique wheel design. Rather than simply round wheel, students on the design crew carved six grooves into the wheels to provide maximum grip ability while still maintaining a smooth ride.
“Our wheels are better than everybody else’s because they get over the ramp and the bumpy road a lot easier,” freshman C.J. Foster said.
But the robotics team is much more than simply building a robot. The competition has four categories students are judged on: Spirit and Sportsmanship, Marketing Presentation, the actual robot and an Engineering Notebook that includes notes and drawings from all stages of the building process. The team also requires students to keep the process organized, someone to build a webpage and much more.
“That’s what I love, because it’s more than just the robot. These kids get to build their professional skills and become leaders,” Greene said.
The team will participate in the first round of competition Saturday against 23 other teams. Eight of those teams will advance to the semifinals, and then four to the finals.
For more information on the team, visit their student-designed webpage at www.beltonrobotics.com.