Ingenuity shines in Prospect's Robotics Club

 By Tim Angerame
Entertainment Editor
Prospect’s robotics club is  preparing for their yearly  tournament in March. Joe  Salvato, a robotics and Project  Lead the Way teacher at Elk  Grove Buffalo Grove high  schools, has been running the club for four years. This is also Prospect High School’s PLTW teacher Patrick Fonsino’s first year as an assistant to Salvato.

According to Salvato, the club is part of the STEM initiative, Science, Technology, Economics, and Machinery.
“It’s an excellent way for students to get a look at mechanical and electrical engineering concepts” said Salvato.
The robots are being prepared for a district-wide competition held in March. The robots are purely made by the students with no outside assistance. “It’s a one hundred percent student initiative,” said Salvato. “Design, build, and compete.” Prospect has been in the competition for only two years so far.
The robot the club is currently working on is Razorback, a ramp shaped “pusher” robot. Razorback is made of fabricated metal, and its interior is lined with thick plastic, for protection. According to Salvato, the materials for the robot were bought from local vendors. The students buy wheels and motors, rather than building them from scratch. The metal is completely fabricated by the students. The initial design is done on Inventor Software. 
According to Salvato, there are two classes of robots, ones with weapons, and “pushers” like Razorback, which are designed without weapons to push things.
According to Salvato, the group has until the first week of March to design, build, and learn how to control the robot. Throughout the process, students will learn how to size motors, composite materials, and how to wire electronics. “If you’re a hands on person, you’re going to love this,” said Salvato.
Senior Mike Anaszewicz joined the club this year because he wants to pursue engineering as a major.

“Plus we get do build battlebots, and who doesn’t want to do that?” said Anaszewicz.
His brother John Anaszewicz enjoys collaborating with his fellow club members on ideas for the robot.

As of now, the club only has five members, but Salvato always welcomes new members. He says that it’s never too late to join, and no experience is required.

To see highlights from last years competition, check out: