Hillsboro High School students Austin Rempel, 17, and Jacob Denholm, 18, were happy with making it to the championship round of the Vex Robotics competition Saturday — even if they came up short against Maize.
Their goal was to win, but the two, who have competed before, said they are glad they relied on their own ingenuity, rather than online resources to help them design and code their robot.
“This is entirely from our minds,” said Rempel, who vowed to come back next year.
Competitors participate in a skills class where they earn points for tasks such as stacking blocks and then move on to battles against rival robotics teams.
During automated rounds, the robots operate according to programmed code.
Competitors are then allowed to control their robots using videogame-like controls.
Denholm said he and Rempel struggled to get their robot’s arm tight enough to grab cubes that needed to be stacked during the test, but were able to solve the problem on the fly.
“That’s what this brace underneath is for,” he said pointing to a crossbar on the robot. “It ties the separate arms together.”
A motor in the back of the arm rotated forward when Denholm tapped the controls just right, which kept the cubes from getting stuck.
“It’s a lot of trial and error,” Rempel said.
Denholm said he would like to “do something with robotics.” He plans to attend Wichita State University this fall.