Course: 22.423 - Capstone
Semester: Spring 2006
Instructor: Sammy Shina
Partner: Lowell High School (LHS), and FIRST Competition at Whitinsville Christian High School
Partnership Description: This S-L partnership represents a collaboration between UML, the FIRST Competition and Whitinsville Christian High School since 2001. The FIRST Robot program with high schoolers linked with UML S-L students in which students acted as ambassadors to the local high school to work with high schoolers around robotics designs. This program has been in been in place and under continued improvement over the last four years. Students performed independent design work and participated in team efforts to develop conceptual designs from functional requirements. Students performed design analysis and synthesis, modeling, fabrication, testing, cost estimating, and documented the essential elements of the system design.
Project Description: For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotic Competition: To design, manufacture and provide support for a working robot, which was then entered into the FIRST competition. FIRST is a nationwide robotic competition for high school students interested in the mathematics and science. The UML team of 3 students worked with students from the Whitinsville Christian High School throughout the entirety of the project for a total of 20 people involved. The robot was completed on time and within budget robot performed very well through the competition with only minor adjustments. It placed 13th out of 52 teams at the FIRST Granite State Regional in Manchester New Hampshire.
The Whitinsville high school team and their mentors were extremely satisfied with the results of the robot and their performance in the competition. Negative results: There was only one partial failure of the robot. A short section of PVC tube used to maintain proper distance between the two sideboards of the robot was broken. The piece was upgraded to a threaded steel rod for longevity. Faculty were concerned by the amount of time it took for the students to complete the project on time, and its effect on other course of study that they are taking.
The UML student team recommended that the UML team work with a high school closer to campus, to facilitate communications and face-to-face meetings with all members of the high school team. Future teams should also reuse many of the design and parts of past robots into future robotic competition both for conservation and meeting deadlines. Very satisfactory project and results to all stakeholders (professor, students, and community partner, Whitinsville High School.)