CJ Eagles to Give Heater Wings

Eagles Robotics FTC Team 15250 submitted their initial design for the Make Heater Fly! Challenge and has been selected to proceed to the fabrication phase. The team will now receive financial resources for their design submission and for fabrication costs, then work with judges to receive feedback on their design and work to complete their project. 

The Make Heater Fly! Challenge is described as “a STEM challenge that is uniquely ‘Dayton,’” per the challenge website. Heater and Gem are the official mascots of the Dayton Dragons, an organization that Daytonians know incredibly well. The minor league baseball team holds the longest sellout streak in American professional sports. 

The challenge? It’s in the name; help make Heater fly. While Heater may not be able to fly like a real dragon, if that is such a thing, help from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), the FIRST Robotics League (FRC), and Ohio-based student teams may be able to elevate the mascot to soar to new heights. 

The Wright Brothers Institute (WBI) obtained a large drone capable of carrying an 11 lb payload. Competitors design a shell around the drone that resembles Heater and allows him to fly around the ballpark. 

The competition is broken down into multiple stages: design, selection/fabrication, and, finally, demonstration. In the design stage, teams determine attachment points to the drone, materials needed for each part, and provide a detailed CAD drawing. After this stage, just five designs are selected for fabrication, one of which being the CJ team’s submission. Teams are given until December 8 to deliver final products to WBI for the final stage: demonstration.

Members of the Eagles Robotics FTC Team 15250 are students Isabella Quiroz '24, Ja'Yanah Nader-Moses '24, Carma McCullough '24, Maveric Clausing-Koeppe '24, Eoin Gallagher '25, Vance Lawrence '22, Yung Chan '24, and Nicholas Schindler '22 along with Project Lead the Way (PLTW) teachers Anna Sitz and Chengkun Liu.

As the CJ robotics team continues to toil away, fine tuning their design for the final demonstration, they look ahead to potentially seeing their hard work pay off with Heater soaring around the ballpark in front of another, hopefully, sellout crowd of proud Daytonians.

--This story was published on November 18, 2021.