An innovative battle bot design by a team of six CJ Project Lead the Way (PLTW) engineering students literally and figuratively caught the attention of opponents and onlookers at the 2014 Spring Ohio Robotics XtremeBOTS Competition.
The Eagles placed ninth among a field of about 60 bots built by 19 college and high school teams from Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania. Their machine, officially named “Blue Eyes, White Dragon,” earned a more fitting nickname after making it to the Sweet 16 round of the competition.
“Our bot became known as the Ghandi bot because of its passive aggressive nature. There was no weapon on the bot,” explained sophomore Evan Skrobot. Instead of smashing other bots, the team’s wedge-shaped design scooped up anything in its path, rendering attacks from competitors useless.
“No one had ever done a scoop idea,” said sophomore team member Tyler Curtis. The design created a need for judges to adjust.
“They had to create a new rule for our bot,” said sophomore teammate Cole Mason (pictured above). “Teams could either tap out after we caught them or we would have to drive their bot around for three minutes to win the match.”
The Eagles design even seemed to impress Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who served as a guest speaker at the March 22 event hosted at the Nutter Center. She tweeted, “This @cjeagles robot was not messing around at the #xtremeBOTS competition @wrightstate today! We make it in #Dayton.”
— Nan Whaley (@nanwhaley) March 22, 2014
All six students involved with the robotics team are enrolled in Principles of Engineering, a PLTW course taught by Andy Helms.
“Taking the Principles of Engineering course introduced us to robotics, but it also gave us access to the tools and knowledge we needed to be successful,” said sophomore Jordan Thomasson.
With guidance from Mr. Helms and Dan Reynolds of American Testing Services, the team’s professional mentor, Jordan and his teammates drew designs using AutoCAD software and assembled the bot with tools in the CJ STEMM Center.
The team hopes to compete again this spring in a National Robotics League competition at Baldwin Wallace University coming up May 17.
Video provided courtesy of Jordan Thomasson '16 and photos provided courtesy of Dan Reynolds.