The Westbrook Intermediate Robotics Engineering Division, or WIRED, participated in the Boosting Engineering Science and Technology (BEST) Robotics USTEM hub competition at South Early College High School on November 9. The Off the Grid game – an electrical grid repair following a catastrophe-based theme was particularly challenging this year since it involved autonomous parts delivery, a first for BEST robotics and WIRED. The challenge was to build a competition-ready robot to perform several tasks for damaged grid repair while at the same time reducing risks to lineman – in only six weeks.
Our team, known as WIRED Electrical Innovations, Inc. designed, prototyped, built, and tested the Jupiter Specialize Line Repair (SLR) system, or JupiterSLR for short, in six weeks, according to our Systems Engineering Process. At the competition on Saturday, WIRED finished in 2nd Place in the Robot Competition and was awarded the “Most Robust Design” for the second year in a row. Most importantly, however, the team won 1st place in the overall BEST Award, which scores the team’s engineering notebook, marketing presentation, exhibit booth and short Interview, spirit and sportsmanship, as well as robot performance.
This year marks the 21st year that WIRED has competed in BEST, and throughout the season, alumni have come back to encourage us, check out this year’s design, and provide feedback on various marketing products contributing towards the BEST Award. WIRED also believes that we have a social responsibility to educate the community about the game theme chosen by BEST robotics. A select group of our students went to two elementary schools to teach younger students about the electrical grid and emphasize the importance of saving electricity. While there, we used snap circuits to explain how electricity flows through powerlines and encouraged students to learn more about STEM and BEST Robotics.
WIRED will be taking JupiterSLR on the road as we travel to Frisco, Texas, December 5-7, to participate in the Texas BEST Regional Championship. This event will be attended by the top BEST robotics teams in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Our intermediate school team of 6th – 8th graders have competed against local engineering high school teams and will be up against tougher opponents at the Texas BEST competition that has approximately 75 teams in total. Some of these teams compete for the UIL State Championship, which is combined with this event.
WIRED will continue to give presentations locally and further community outreach to promote the use of robotics to make the electrical grid safer for lineman until we leave for regional competition. For more information, please visit our website at www.ccisd-wired.com, or find and like us on Twitter (@1253wired), Instagram (1253wired), Facebook (Wired Westbrook), and YouTube (WIRED Robotics).