First place for Tiger Tech

Bianca Sarver, Photo Editor

Four students in Tiger Tech recently won first place in Joliet Junior College’s annual Robotic Engineering competition. These four students include Matt Molo, Alex Bayner, Eric Pitts and Kevin Knapek. Honorable mentions went out to Saul Olivares, Kyle Rendell, Alvin Sayasavanh and Jorge Martinez.

Sponsored by teachers John Barber and Matt Gibson, Tiger Tech had to go through a maximum of six challenges that tested the students’ ability to quickly and creatively solve physics problems, program and design a robot. Points were awarded by the efficiency in their robots ability to complete the tasks. The team won 350 points, a 65 points lead on the second team.

The first challenge was to build a robot made entirely out of legos. The team felt very strong in this area, as expressed by junior Eric Pitts, “We spent less time making it look cool and more time programming it for different tasks.” The second part of this challenge was to make the robot go around in a circle as fast as it could with major obstacles in the way. The record for this was 16 seconds, which Tiger Tech beat with a new record of two seconds.

A maze was used for the second challenge. The team had to totally reprogram the robot to have the ability to make choices on its own, since the start of the maze was at random by JJC. It only took three seconds for the team’s robot to finish.

The third challenge jumped to a higher level. The team’s lego-made robot had to face JJC’s Housebot made of complete steel and metal in a “cage fight” for at least 60 seconds. The team did them one better and dominated the machine in ten.

The fourth challenge was to have the robot pick up pool balls and put them into certain pockets. It sounds like an easy task that easily bumped their score up by 60 points. The fifth was to knock off traffic cones, which the team didn’t get to finish but luckily they were the only group to get that far into the challenge. So it was an automatic win.

From 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. that day was nothing but success for Tiger Tech. “It wasn’t super difficult; all of our ideas just worked,” Pitts said.