East Tennessee high school wins Smoky Mountain Regional FIRST Robotics competition
2016 SMR Competition. Photo courtesy of HVA Robotics.
The FIRST Robotics Smoky Mountain Regional is a grueling three-day event, giving teams only six weeks to design, build, and program a complex robot to the specified demands. Held last week in Knoxville, TN, this year’s competition floor was filled with obstacles and barriers built to disrupt even the most advanced bots from completing their mission, commandeering the opposing team’s tower and capturing the flag.
Due to intense preparations and multiple redesigns, the Hardin Valley High School (Knoxville) Robotics team took first place in the Smoky Mountain Regional Competition for the second year in a row. After significant damage in a preliminary round, the team worked together to make vision repairs to their competition bot, the Pultruder, to ultimately emerge victorious in the final match. Hardin Valley Team 3824 and their alliance members, the Roboteers (Team 2481) and The Sparta Bots (Team 4740) will be attending the World Championships in St. Louis later this month.
HVA students. Photo courtesy of HVA Robotics.
IACMI is committed to the growth of composites manufacturing and increased domestic production, which can be achieved by continually engaging budding engineers and scientists and nurturing talent in the nation’s future technical leaders. IACMI CEO, Craig Blue has been a long time supporter and FIRST Robotics mentor. “I’ve been at the labs for 21 years, but I have to say one of the most impactful things I’ve been involved with is actually mentoring the next generation of scientists and engineers,” said Blue. His desire is to offer kids the unparalleled opportunity to learn about and integrate next-generation manufacturing technologies while building engineering and business skills to prepare them for the workplace of the future.
Industry and partner support played a huge role in the team’s success. Local Motors hosted the practice sessions while ORNL, MDF, and IACMI provided the field and volume time. The University of Tennessee hosted a First Robotics party and STRONGWELL donated pultruded materials, inspiring the robot name “Pultrudor”.
Become a Corporate Sponsor of the EERE Robotics Internship Program, a unique collaboration between public and private sectors to contribute development of the future technical, advanced manufacturing and engineering workforce. The program is seeking corporate host sites for 10-week fully-funded summer internships.