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S.M.A.R.T. Robotics

November 21, 2017: A team of 12 students from Clifford H. Smart Middle School in Commerce Township, Michigan, earned 4th grade honors and the opportunity to vie for statewide qualification at the upcoming FIRST Tech Challenge taking place Dec. 1-2, 2017, at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan.

The students, who are members of the FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Team 12520, competed against 36 other teams at a FIRST Tech Challenge qualifying event held Nov. 17th, and were undefeated in the controls development portion of the competition. They also received great marks on their presentation and engineering notebook, which showcased evolving design options and challenges that the students overcame throughout the season.

“The students worked incredibly hard to not only design and build a robot from scratch, but to program all of the controls for both manual and automated control,” said dSPACE Applications Engineer Matt Rasmussen, who is serving as a mentor to the students.

The students’ robot design featured a linear slide capable of lifting a large cube more than 2-feet off the ground. They programmed the robot in Java, using Android Studio ˗ the same application used by Android developers around the world to create mobile applications. The controls were mapped to two different controllers, allowing two students to work in tandem. To help their robot identify key objects on the playing field, the team’s controls were designed to interface with touch, color and proximity sensors.

“The students are very much looking forward to their upcoming competition,” said Rasmussen.

More information on the team: