Danville students build robots, test them

Published 9:35 am Monday, March 26, 2018

Students in the Robotics Design Essentials class at Danville High School put their creations to the test on Friday by putting robots in the pool at the Kentucky School for the Deaf.

Teacher Danny Goodwin said the project, which consisted of building robots using a lot of recycled materials, such as old 35 millimeter film canisters, was inspired by the movie “Spare Parts.” It’s also based on the SeaPerch program, which, according to seaperch.org, is an underwater robotics program that helps teachers and students be equipped with what they need to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle.

Danville High School students, from left, Shawn Yates, Adam Shumate, Noah Israel, Joseph Lay, Jeffrey Guernsey, practice and watch classmates practice their robots.

The students had been working for about two and a half weeks on the project. Friday was a day of trial and error, Goodwin, said; he called it the “fail fast and fix it” experience.

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“From here, we’ll go back to the shop and discuss solutions to the problems we experienced and collaborate to develop a challenge course for later in the year,” he said.

On Friday, the robots were put through a mini-challenge course: they had to swim through a hula hoop and into a milk crate on the bottom of the pool.

Some of the robots didn’t work when placed in the deeper water. Goodwin said they had worked in shallow tubs of water at Danville High School, but Friday was the first time they were placed in 3 feet of water.

Finding two that were working, students also tried a race from one side of the pool to the other.

High school students from the Kentucky School for the Deaf also participated on Friday as observers. Student Hayden Graves explained how the robots worked to the class, with the help of Advanced Manufacturing teacher Jay Cloud and High School Science teacher Brittany Voll interpreting for students, who were able to ask Graves questions.

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