l robot 120A robot visited the Lansing Board Of Education Monday, when High School Physics Teacher Andrea Schneider brought the Lansing Robotics Team to report on their first year as an officially recognized club.  Team members Zach Wenzel, Matt Robinson, Thomas Galvin, Amanda Van, Elizabeth Barrett, Emily Schweitzer displayed their robot and laid out future plans.

"You have two minutes where we control the robot and 30 seconds when it is autonomous," said Wenzel.  "We had to use movable tubes, whiffle balls and smaller balls.  The robot had to collect the balls and put them into the tubes, then move the tubes into scoring areas."

The robot uses spinning paddles to collect the balls, which are then elevated to a platform high enough to deposit them into the tubes.  Some of the parts were made on-stie in a 3D printer donated by CDC.

l robot teamLeft to right: Andrea Schneider (advisor), Zach Wenzel, Matt Robinson (President), Thomas Galvin (VP), Amanda Van (future Pres), Elizabeth Barrett, Emily Schweitzer (Treasurer).

"The 3D printer was an integral art of our design process because we were able to design parts on the fly instead of waiting a week or two to receive them from online orders," Galvin said.  "We were able to design the parts and print them and see if they worked.  If not we redesigned them and printed them again.  It gave us a lot more flexibility than we had previously."

The team was started last school year by founding President Andrew Parkes.  That team competed last year with donations from a number of local engineering firms.  They qualified in two qualifying matches, and competed in the Hudson Valley, NY Regional Championship.  The team also won the Judges Award for scoring well in all areas with distinction.

"We often call the robot Andy Parkes in honor of the first President," says Schneider.

This year's team competed in Utica December 7th, winning three out of five matches in Utica and placing ninth out of 25 teams overall.  After the December competition the team made changes to their robot design based on what they learned in there.

l robot robotRobot Andy Parkes

On December 13th they were in Rochester, where they won two of five matches, placing 10th overall and winning the Connect Award for connecting with their overall and engineering communities.  The team didn't place as well in a competition in Robesonia, PA later in December, but won the Motivate Award for most embodying team spirit through attire, individuality and professionalism.

Vann said she would like the team to be able to offer a robotics class for both high school and middle school students.  She said the team is working on a curriculum that will be presented to the school board when it is ready.  Schweitzer said the team is also working on a robotics summer camp for fifth graders and older.