BattleBots more than building robots


By Montaser Takrouriimage1
BattleBots is about more than just constructing robots. It includes engineering, technology, design, teamwork and a lot of hands-on work.
“It is amazing how much work we do with our hands. I mean, that was the reason why I joined,” freshman Jake Cullotta said.
Cullotta, junior Ravi Trivedi and junior Brian Norton were all interested in building robots and putting them against each other since they were kids. Trivedi said that when he was in middle school, he went to a robotics fair and was amazed by how the robots worked. He felt he needed to build one.
In 2012, there were only 10 people in BattleBots. Today, there are 20. These 20 students are excited to put their robots to the test against rival district 214 schools.
Before the competition, students in BattleBots have to put in hard work into their robots. Building bots doesn’t just happen overnight.
Before the people in the club start making their bots, they have to brainstorm what their bot should look like and if it is a pusher or a weapon bot. The team then designs the bot to its exact measurements. They use an application called Computer Aided Design to draw their components. Then they start ordering motors, radio control units and or wheels online.
After all these parts of the bot are shipped to the school, the team just has to assemble it and get ready for the District 214 Battle Bot Competition.
The competition usually takes place at John Hersey High School near the beginning of March. All schools in the district participate in this event.
Timothy Schaap, one of two teachers who run BattleBots, said that BattleBots is an excellent way for kids to communicate with each other. They work together a lot of the times whether it is connecting wheels onto a platform or illustrating their bot on their paper.
“It gets students to design and engineer their battle bot to compete to try to destroy other robots”, Schaap said.
Schaap’s dedication to the club will hopefully be payed off at the D214 competition.
Trivedi also dedicates a big part of his life to the club. Sometimes he does some research in his house about bots. He loves putting parts together with his group then seeing those parts go to work.
“It gets really intense when we see the bots battling against each other. It gets really exciting,” Trivedi said.
“In many other BattleBot clubs outside of school, you just talk about your bot, but this club actually has technology that helps you predict how well your bot is going to do in the competition”, Trivedi said.
Currently the club is open for anybody wanting to join. The club invites students who are interested in building and competing to join.
This year’s BattleBots club is mostly made up of seniors that will be graduating next year. They say that they are looking for more people to join next year to make the team more talented.
“BattleBots is different than any other club because there is more freedom and it is lots of fun”, Trivedi said, “People shouldn’t underestimate it.”