Robotomies

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Groton Dunstable Robotics Team 2017 Season Wrap Up
Ginger Vollmar, Publicity for the GDRHS Robotics Team

The Groton Dunstable High School Robotics team, “The Robotomies”, have completed the FIRST Robotics “First Steamworks” competitions for 2017. It was an interesting season with a mix of highs and lows.

The first competition was held at WPI on March 9th and 10th. The team ended up in 30th place out of 40 teams in this competition. The second competition was held at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI on March 25th and 26th. Here the team ended up in 18th place out of 41 teams. Despite a favorable finishing position at Bryant, we were not selected to compete in the finals.

This year’s challenge was much different than last year’s (which played to our strengths). We were able to master the challenge of having our robot climb, which we had never attempted before. Our robot had some trouble with loading the gears and our shooter was not always accurate – but it was much better than shooters we have designed in the past. Overall, the team was happy to have mastered some new challenges, though they would have liked to finish at a higher rank in the competitions.

It’s worth noting that our team was awarded the “White Gloves Award” which “recognizes excellence in student led teams”. It is given to two teams where students control all phases of the design and build season. When you look around in the pits, it can be very obvious that many teams are not only led by adults, but they are primarily responsible for the build as well. Our team has always prided itself on the level of control granted to students. Our mentors support and assist our students. Right or wrong, it is their robot and the level of pride and ownership they have in it is apparent by how quickly and confidently the students jump in to fix or improve the robot in between matches.

We have a strong group of seniors who will be leaving us at the end of the school year. They will be missed. The juniors will take the lead next year and continue to learn and work with the younger students.

You can visit our web site at www.robotomies.com for more information about the Robotomies or like us on Facebook at “GD Team 1277”.

The Robotics team depends on team mentors (technical and non-technical) who are volunteers from the community and Mr. Mark Rocheleau, the Engineering and Technology teacher at the High School. The team is always looking for more mentors who have experience in machining, engineering, programming, marketing, business, or project management. A big shout out to Mr. Rocheleau for his dedication to this team and to Principal Michael Woodlock for his support of the team.

All funding for the Robotics team is privately raised. The Robotomies are thrilled to have gotten more sponsors this year. We would like to thank all of our current sponsors who provide funding for the entrance fees for the FIRST competitions and for materials. Thank you to: Justin J. Maynard Memorial STEM Innovation Scholarship; The Society for American Military Engineers; Raytheon; Ted & Connie Lapres Fund; Mercury Systems; IBM Northeast Community Grant Program; GE Oil & Gas; Solidworks; MJR Engineering Co.; Hollingsworth & Vose; L3 Advanced Programs; Harris Corporation; Groton Dunstable Education Foundation (GDEF); the Hughson Family; the Adams Family; the Breton Family; the Battles Family; the Orlando Family; and the DiFranco Family. Additional sponsorships are always welcomed and appreciated.

If you have questions or would like to help support the Robotics team, please contact Mr. Mark Rocheleau at mrocheleau@gdrsd.org.