Shelton Robotics Visits OEM Controls

The OEM sponsored robotics team from Shelton High School came to OEM Controls on December 4thto demonstrate their creation, Clyde.

The goal of the robotics team is to introduce students to science and technology. In the Shelton Intermediate School, there are 5 robotics teams and 1 team in the high school.

Students on the high school robotics team are partnered with engineers from different local companies, including OEM Controls. The goal of the program is to put students in the same room with engineers, mentors and teachers to come up with an innovative solution to the problem.

Each year, a brand new challenge is presented to the teams in which they must overcome. They have to design, build, and program a whole new robot in six weeks. Once the robot is completed, it is taken to competitions where the students compete with other schools locally and internationally if they are able to win their competitions.

This past years robot, Clyde, has been very successful in the competition realm: they were a tournament winner in the Waterbury competition, finalists in two additional competitions in Hartford , and qualified for the New England District Championship where they were finalists again and even qualified for the World Championship in Detroit, Michigan where they were semi-finalists in their division. They have received numerous awards for the types of control systems they incorporate into their robots.

In addition to actually wiring, soldering, programming, drilling and all the things that go into building a robot, students are also involved in all of the other aspects included in running a corporation. For example, they have a business and entrepreneurship committee, a public relations and marketing committee, a website committee. These aspects provide students with an opportunity to be involved in the robotics team without actually building the robot as they may be more knowledgeable about team work and other aspects that make the program itself run smoothly such as organizing fundraisers.

In this past years competition, the challenge that had to be addressed and overcome was the robot had to pick up yellow cubes, called “Power Cubes,” and place them at different levels for different amounts of points. First, the team strategized about how to approach and overcome the challenge from a point perspective and then once they decided what they should do, they decided what would be the most effective way to execute their plan to win.

On the front of the robot, there is a mechanism that grabs, holds, and places the cubes. They used mecanum wheels to help steer the robot which proved to be highly efficient. Additionally, the robot also included a hook on the back side which was able to extend upwards to hook onto a chin up bar to lift the robot two to three feet off of the ground which was another challenge they had to overcome.

It was very interesting and cool to see what these students had built as a result of the mentors and sponsorships. The Shelton High School robotics team donated a mental they won in a competition to OEM Controls as a token of their appreciation for our sponsorship. We hope to help to continue to inspire these students and future students as well as fuel their interests in the engineering and manufacturing fields.

Learn more about the FIRST, the program that brings these opportunities in STEM to life for the young adults of our tomorrow, below or on their site.

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