• 54°

Mad Rockers finalize components for competition robot

MADISON – The Robotics Team, nicknamed Mad Rockers, from Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools is practicing for two upcoming challenges in this advancing field.

Mad Rockers will compete in the Arkansas Regional Competition in Searcy, Ark. on April 1-2 and the Rocket City Regional Tournament in Huntsville at the Von Braun Center on April 8-9, Jonathan Bailey said. A teacher in Bob Jones Engineering Academy, Bailey sponsors the robotics team.

Both events are part of FIRST Robotics Competition or FRC. The game, or challenge, for this year is called “Rapid React.” The game changes every year to give the teams a new challenge, Bailey said.

“FIRST, an international robotics competition, focuses on preparing students for STEM careers and follows principles of gracious professionalism,” Bailey said. “Teams from all over the world compete together at regional events.”

Making FIRST unique, alliances form for three different robotics teams. “Teams are forced to cooperate while they compete. FIRST coined the term ‘Coopertition’ to describe this aspect of the competition,” Bailey said.

Alabama has 50-plus teams. More than 40 teams will enter the Rocket City Regional. “Robotics is somewhat popular but has been difficult to market since COVID-19,” Bailey said.

The team’s seniors are Team Captains Colby Bong and Malachi Allen, Senior Marketing Captain Alex Underwood, Senior Safety Captain Diane Pham, William Goins, Jonathan Gunasekaran, Riley Skillen and Dalton Shurtz.

Team juniors include Junior Software Captain Jeremiah Yang, Cyrus Boak, Williams Hu, Elise Adams and Alex Moultrie. The only sophomore is Aleks Vukosalvljevic. The team’s freshmen are Mitchell Okafor, Mason Puhalovic, David Gunasekaran, Elizabeth Lee and Donovan White.

“We use an engineering design process to design and build our robot, (starting) by analyzing rules for the game,” Bailey said. “Then, we brainstorm ideas and generate different concepts for the robot.”

With some ideas, the team prototypes different systems and assigns (students) to concurrently engineer different robot parts. Assembling the robot, the team tests and tweaks different systems.

The robots’ major tasks in 2022 are shooting large balls into a high goal and climbing a set of bars. Bob Jones has built a chassis, is finalizing two other robot systems, developing a faster loader and preparing for the Chairman’s Award.

Rapid React is based loosely on a transportation theme. Robots load ‘cargo’ (dodgeball-sized tennis balls), high or low. Robots score double points ‘driving’ themselves during the 15-second autonomous period.

FIRST robots are advanced and can cost up to $5,000, in addition to the kick-off kit. “Robots use a Roborio as the robot’s brain, radio, power distribution panel with fuses, motors and controllers and other systems,” Bailey said.

Bailey sees robotics’ potential as an academic class with problem-solving, geometry, physics and computer science. However, he hopes the competition team stays extra-curricular to keep the “bridge” between Bob Jones and James Clemens.

For more information, visit frc-events.firstinspires.org/2022/ALHU.

Madison

Mill Creek Greenpower Team motors to first place in Oxford

James Clemens High School

James Clemens Competition Cheer Team takes fourth state title

Madison

The celebration continues: Madison Street Festival awards grants to 16 Madison educational programs

Events

The Loomis Brothers Circus returns this weekend

James Clemens High School

Wyche earns full-tuition scholarship from Cameron Education Foundation

Madison

ReadyFest returns to underscore need for preparedness

Madison

Winter Knights Chess Tournament sets record attendance

Harvest

Delta Sigma Theta plans exciting evening with ROUGE – A Go Red Event

Events

Burritt on the Mountain to host Shane Adkins for Coffeehouse Concert series

Bob Jones High School

Sponsors essential to achieving Madison Street Festival’s traditions

Madison

Registration opens to vie for seat in pre-kindergarten

Huntsville

Former doctor from Madison sued for overdose death

James Clemens High School

Donaldson piloting James Clemens as Acting Principal

Madison

Discovery of woman’s body in Hazel Green leads to investigation of possible murder-suicide

Huntsville

Rookie Rally Chess Tournament returns to Blossomwood

Huntsville

Arts Huntsville awards $280,000 in grants to area arts organizations

Bob Jones High School

Nichols’ podcast reflects on MCS’ 25th anniversary

Madison

Regions Bank on Madison Blvd robbed again

Madison

JAN. 20 DEADLINE: Madison Visionary Partners asking for nominations for first annual MVP awards

Madison

Damaging winds, flooding possible tonight

Madison

Community remembers Donald Spencer’s public service

Madison

Water main break postpones Bob Jones vs. Austin basketball games

Madison

Library sessions to offer backyard planting tips to novice gardeners

Madison

Editorial: King’s words speak to all

x