The Perkiomen Valley Robotics Club was founded during the 2017-2018 school year. The team has progressed monumentally since the first year, from an inexperienced group of beginners to a seasoned and practiced team. This year, the team completed its first worldwide robotics competition.
“Every year, we get a new challenge and have six weeks to design and build the robot. A typical event involves a 2 and a 1/2 day tournament where 6 robots compete in two teams of three robots to score points. You normally play with and against most robots over that period. Robots advance based on their scoring to a worldwide championship,” Mr. Moss, a team leader of the Robotics club, said.
COVID-19 created some challenges for the robotics team to progress, but they were able to compete in the tournament again this year.
“The pandemic prevented us from completing last year’s tournament so this year we have the same robot challenge,” Mr. Moss said. This challenge includes navigating a field, picking up large yellow balls called power cells, and shooting them at a 10’ high octagon. The team built a field in the high school in front of the auditorium or gym. The team’s main goals this year are to practice innovating thinking and teamwork.
“While the pandemic prevented us from meeting in person, we have taken this in stride and met virtually to continue working together,” Sunay Neelimathara, the team captain, said.
Thanks to Dr. Moss and the Perkiomen Valley School District, the team has a new space for tools and equipment, which has allowed them to meet while also maintaining COVID guidelines.
“Most engineering today is done with distributed teams. This is an excellent opportunity to experience how real-world engineering is performed,” Mr. Moss said.