Claremont Courier - Robotics competition

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					                                                                                                                                                   Claremont COURIER/Wednesday, May 4, 2011   10

          Students test skills at 4th robotic competition

A robot built by the Team Ninja Turtles navigates

part of the race course on Friday during the 4th
annual Claremont Robotics Competition at CGU.
        he Claremont Unified School Dis-
        trict, Claremont Graduate Univer-
        sity and Harvey Mudd College
came together last Friday for the 4th year
to allow nearly 80 students to engage in
friendly competition using robots.
    Created by CGU professor Brian Hilton and his wife,
Claremont High School Assistant Principal and CGU ad-
junct professor June Hilton, the 4th Annual Claremont Ro-
botics Competition featured 7 teams of students from 5th
through 12th grade. The competition is a day-long event al-
lowing elementary, junior high and high school students to
showcase their robot creations in 4 different categories.                                                                    COURIER photos/Steven Felschundneff
    “The students do a great job with this event,” said Dr.     Alex Tang, left, Cameron Coe and Daniel Aaron make some last minute alterations to their robot dur-
June Hilton. “As long as they have a good time and learn        ing the 4th annual Claremont Robotics Competition on Friday at Claremont Graduate University.
something at the same time, then that’s all that matters to        Captained by CHS student Kevin Wang, teammates                points, El Roble 8th grader Elijah Tangenberg said pro-
me.”                                                            Mahdi Ali, Thomas Chen, Fred Dong, Ezra Kim, Clifford            gramming plays a vital role in the success of competitions.
    According to Dr. Brian Hilton, the creation of the robot-   Murray, Domenick Murray, Stephen Schein, Dale Scoville,          The robotic vehicle had to be programmed in order for the
ics competition was something he and his wife pursued after     Malcom Warrenaar, Ian Warrenaar and Walton Wu made               light sensor to recognize the difference between a black strip
CHS wasn’t invited to participate in the solar boat compe-      up the winning team of Friday’s competition with a final         of tape versus a blue strip of tape in the City Trip competi-
tition 4 years ago.                                             score of 317.63. The team had top scores in the Quick Trip       tion.
    “Claremont High School used to have the solar boat com-     (75 points) and Display (23.88 points) categories and tied for      “It’s mainly programming but to get good programming,
petition and that was really popular and 4 years ago, the       first in the 2 written report categories.                        you need a lot of trial and error,” Elijah said. “You have to
[CHS] students were ready and CHS wasn’t picked to par-            “We didn’t have much time to do everything so to see          make it so the light sensor can tell the difference between the
ticipate that year,” he said. “So June and I started brain-     our hard work pay off after we worked really hard in a short     colors and you have to program the wheels to react so the
storming and we came up with this. We decided to include        period of time shows our team effort,” Kevin said. “But it’s     turns are smooth. You always learn something new.”
middle school and elementary students as well.”                 been pretty exciting and we even stayed up until 2 a.m. fin-        Team Ninja Turtles brought enthusiasm to the competi-
    The competition isn’t just about creating robots with       ishing things up.”                                               tion with custom made black t-shirts for its group. The team
Lego MINDSTORMS NXT kits in order to showcase them.                Stephen was impressed by Kevin’s leadership throughout        finished in 3rd place with 282 points but the Ninja Turtle
While the teams are scored on display and the ability of the    the competition.                                                 robot struggled on the City Trip course.
robots to follow a path indicated by black tape, the groups        “This was my first year and it was a great experience,” he       “Even though we didn’t win, we still like our robot,” said
also receive points based on interview skills, design and       said. “The way that we worked together was fantastic. Kevin      Ninja Turtle team member Andy Zhang. “This is my first
construction reports and group evaluations. A rubric for each   was able to organize us in such a manner that we could work      year participating and it’s been a lot of fun. I get to be with
of the categories allows for teams to score a maximum of        well together. I found it great that he organized us so well.”   my friends and compete.”
                                                                   With his team finishing in 2nd place with a score of 303                                                 —Landus Rigsby
350 points overall.

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Description: May 4, 2011 story from the Claremont Courier newspaper on the 4th annual Claremont Robotics Competition, which was held on the campus of Claremont Graduate University on April 29.