Bates County robotics team competes for the first time

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By JERRY FERGUSON

The CowTown ThrowDown Rumble this past Saturday at Lee’s Summit High School was the first opportunity for the Bates County Robotics team known as Brick Heads to participate in a First Robotics Lego League (FLL) event. The team, made up of youth from the Adrian, Butler and the Archie area, has been preparing for this year’s challenge over the summer. FLL is for nine to 14 year olds and has been active for 20 years.

This year’s challenge is Senior Solutions and is made up of problems encountered by seniors in their day to day life. The challenge is to help senior adults remain active, engaged, and independent. Specifically each team member is to find a senior partner aged 60 years or more and learn things the partner could use help in doing, then develop a plan for using robotics to help accomplish in doing them. The team has been working to build and program their robot to solve and complete as many of the problems as possible in two and one-half minutes.

The Rumble was a “fun” competition of 14 teams mostly from the Kansas City area. The Brick Heads will be going to Olathe NW High School November 17 for its qualifying tournament where 40 teams will be competing for 10 places to move up to the Kansas City Regional Tournament January 19 at Union Station. This being the team’s first year, just competing is quite a thrill, but the team scored well at the Rumble and is working hard to compete in the Qualifier in two weeks.

Right: The Brick Heads are working as a team in the “pits”.

Far right: Clint Cumpton and Isaiah Salazar are preparing for a round at the First Robotics Lego League.