Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Education

January 23, 2014

Robotics Club looks to grow its winning ranks

The Andover Robotics Club is looking for a few good members.

Two weeks after hosting a competition at Andover High School, the club is poised to compete in the First Tech Challenge on Saturday, Jan. 18, in Arlington for a chance to advance to the state competition.

But the club is seeking to boost its rolls. Current members said in a release that the club has successfully competed in and hosted several competitions since it was founded about four years ago. But membership has been thinning recently and funding has also become depleted.

Its prospects for winning competitions will only increase as membership grows, they said,

“The number of active members in our club is very important as we rely on a consistent large number of attendees to stay on schedule and be ready for competitions,” Noah Appleby, the club’s secretary, said in the release.

The Andover Robotics Club has two teams: Awesome Sauce and Pixelated Tesseracts. The teams participate in two competitions.

First Tech Challenge was founded by Dean Kamen for high-schoolers as a way to make robotics a sport like soccer or football and encourage more people to enter the growing robotics field. Botball features teams comprised of students in both high and middle school who build small, autonomous robots to perform tasks. The competitions are open for free to the public.

The club meets three days a week after school to work on building, programming, documenting and testing. Every participant has a job to do, but they have plenty of fun, too, the members said. New members are encouraged to join; the process involves simply filling out a form.

For more information on the Andover club, visit Andoverrobotics.com. Details on the robotics competitions are available at usfirst.org, massftc.org and botball.org

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