Two schools had terrific results recently in separate robot competitions. And they weren't the schools that leap to mind when you think cutting-edge technological devices.
The Robobuffs from Milby took their robot, LARA (Lego Autonomous Robotic Andriod) to Michigan to compete in an international competition. They came in fifth, but managed to knock off last year's champions from Korea. That ain't bad.
Things got interesting when they tried to transport the robot back to Michigan, according to one member:
Behind the wall [at the airport]stood another smiling woman who greeted me with a line of questions as to what she was, what was our business in Detroit, how did we get her on the plane in Houston, how were we able to attain a ticketed seat for a robot, was she a bomb, and the questions went on through numerous interviews with TSA, the FBI, and finally with a Bomb Squad Inspector. Lara was x-rayed, frisked front and back, a special chemical computer was brought in to swab and analyze her, and finally we were allowed through when an FBI agent recognized her and the RoboFest T-shirt I was wearing from a news story the night before.
Unfortunately, LARA then blew up the plane with a sneaker bomb.
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SHOW ME HOW
Or maybe she didn't.
Also bringing home robotic honors was a team from Waltrip, competing in the regional contest for underwater robots. They won the title and will now go to the international contest in Massachusetts this summer.
The Waltrip kids had to design an underwater remotely operated vehicle that could do such things as rescue a disabled sub (in a smaller scale, of course).
Robots are our future. And the kids who make them, we guess.