Robotics competition puts students to the test

Hampton hosted their first ever robotics competition and 25 schools came out to test their robots. (KSNB)
Hampton hosted their first ever robotics competition and 25 schools came out to test their robots. (KSNB)(KSNB)
Published: Dec. 7, 2019 at 6:10 PM CST
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Robots designed with strategy, metal, rubber bands, and a plan to be the best in the NPPD robotics competition took to the ring in Hampton Saturday. Students from Holdrege to Omaha began their robots over the summer and each team has to work together to figure out how it'll complete this year's challenge.

“Well it's actually kind of surprising. in the beginning it looked nothing like what I have now,” Hampton Robotics Junior Melinda Montoya said. “We went through so many design changes as if it grew up from being a child or something.”

Each year, the challenge changes and this time the robots have to stack blocks and put them on the top of towers. Teams form an alliance with a random school and one does the stacking and another helps gather blocks away from the other team. No two robots are the same.

“We always decide to challenge ourselves to use out of the ordinary materials,” Millard West Tyler McCoid said. “Like out of the other bots here we're the only one right now that is 100% non-vex.”

Hampton's team has grown over seven years with this year having the biggest group. This is the first year it has hosted a robotics tournament. Some of the students have been doing it for all of high school.

“The first year it was so rough and than I ended up being the only one on my team as a freshman so I had to find some friends to help me but I think the difficulty of the first year made it so much better the next year,” Montoya said.

Each team has to constantly be on top of changes the robot needs to be ready for the next round. Those who qualify will move on to the state competition.

“Engineering it helps you build the step by step sort of mindset to solve one problem to move on to the next problem and continue on in that category,” McCoid said.

The state and national competitions often have different challenges and students will have to prepare their robots for them.

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