The Ozaukee High School robotics team has such a proven track record of success, it is almost a given that it will advance from regional competition and head to the international ROV showdown.
That scenario held true again this year, with the eight-member Ozaukee Robotics team and its underwater robot Squirtlebot winning the recent regional Marine Advanced Technology Education competition held on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Thanks to the victory, the team will now faceoff with teams from around the globe at the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston.
That competition will be held June 23 to 25.
It is the seventh year an Ozaukee High team has advanced to the finals.
This year’s team spent more than $2,400 and 180 hours outside of class time assembling its robot, which must be able to perform simulated industrial and scientific tasks that may be unsafe for human divers.
The team operates as a business, with each team member considered an employee of Ozaukee Robotics.
Leading the team as its CEO is junior Josh Vogt, who was also a software engineer. Other team members are juniors Nick Marz, software engineer; Connor Freiburger, mechanical/electrical engineer; and Joseph Ceranski, mechanical/electrical engineer; sophomores Zachary Wagner, mechanical engineer; Hannah Bell, technical writer; and Hannah Nordby, technical writer; and freshman Jarrod Bares, electrical engineer.
Randy Vogt is the team’s adult mentor.
After several years of collaborating with students from Oostburg High School, all of this year’s team members are from Ozaukee.
While preparing for the competition, the students learned how to collaborate and work as a team to build and refine their robot design.
That included creating a frame and customized tools, programming the device to communicate with a laptop computer and writing technical documents that detailed the construction. A marketing display also had to be created.
Last year, the team competed in Newfoundland, Canada. Four years ago, an Ozaukee team won the global competition at its grade level in Orlando, Fla.