Building as a team

Mark Chang

Gian Gonzalez and John Downey

Every robot that the Jesuit High School robotics team makes starts on a whiteboard. Every year, from November to mid June, the students model, build, and test their robot.

“The hardest part is to get everything to work together,” said Gavin Remme ‘18, a member of the robotics team.

Gavin said that the team has a software where they make digital models. They also construct physical models out of cardboard. Some students are in charge of electronics, some are in charge of tools, and some are in charge of programing.

The robots are built mainly with nylon, aluminum, and polycarbonate, which is a type of clear plastic. Then, the teams attach different cameras, which are used for sight, and lots of wires made for the tether. All the signals travel through that tether.

We mainly build underwater robots. They compete once a year in a competition called MATE, Marine Advanced Technology and Education,” Gavin said.

In the past Jesuit’s team won the 2015 MATE competition with the Stingray, a robot built to replace pipe sections, survey icebergs and marine life, and service an underwater oil christmas tree. They also won the 2014 competition with the “Predator,”  which would lift a heavy nine pound anchor to the surface quickly, and could be quickly removed as a single unit by the deck crew.

“We would have to do different tasks, each worth points.” Gavin said.

One time, the team once had to stay up until 1am in Canada to fix a robot that broke down a few hours before!

Last year the team made the “Cuttlefish.”. It had clear electronic housing and a multi colored LED light around it that would change colors. It also had thrusters all around it! It’s purpose was lunar exploration, oil sample recovery, deep water coral studies, and wellhead manipulation.

In 2016 the Cuttlefish earned second place in their division, MATE. However, this year, the team placed seventh because their robot had technical difficulties and they spent time building an extra robot for testing purposes.