Auburn Middle School’s five-member Robotics Team, consisting of eighth graders Harley Lombard, Ezra Thomas, Zach Johnson, Alex Breton and John Allain, recently brought home awards from a meet at Messalonskee Middle School.
Each member won a first-place trophy in their individual event, and the group placed second overall as a team.
The inventors, along with their coach-mentor Jim Rowe, had six weeks to design, build, program and then test, retest and even redesign their robots to meet the assigned engineering challenges. Except for Lombard, the inventors designed and built their own creations.
Lombard won the speed-build competition, having to memorize the plans for a 52-piece robot and build it from memory. He accomplished this feat in the shortest time of the competition: 3 minutes flat. Fellow team member Allain won the robot race competition.
Breton and Johnson built a machine that had to deliver as many ping pong balls as possible into containers in 30 seconds, with 3 points awarded for the smaller container and 1 for the larger. They set a personal record of 130 points on the third trial.
Thomas built a robot that pulled the largest payload. His machine, small enough to fit into a shoebox, nevertheless pulled over 60 pounds in 3 seconds, down from the top weight of 80 pounds it had pulled in tests.
The team’s next challenge will be to build solar/electric cars for the Junior Solar Sprint at Owls Head on June 9.