Combined robotics squad finishes fourth in international challenge
The combined robotics team of Ozaukee and Oostburg high schools was the leader during much of the international Marine Advanced Technology Education challenge held last week at Thunder Bay
National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Mich.
Ultimately, ZO3 Robotics finished fourth in the Ranger Division of the global competition.
During the competition, teams used submersible robots of their own design to recover samples and data from simulated shipwrecks.
“Getting the final scoring takes a little while, and we know we had a strong pool run,” said faculty advisor Terry Hendrikse.
“For the first day and a half of the competition, we were in first place. As it turned out, we think we just missed getting to the podium.”
The official scoring had the team with a final score of 506.83, just .17 out of third place.
When the engineering evaluation, technical report and poster components of the competition were tabulated with the in-water mission score, the Cougar Robotics team from Clarenville, Newfoundland,
Canada, was named the overall winner.
The division drew 30 teams from 15 states and nine countries, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Scotland, Taiwan and Egypt. The regional qualifiers came from a field of 500 entrants.
The local team included 10 students from Ozaukee and nine from Oostburg.
Students named their remote-operated robot Black Widow because of its black frame and pair of fang-like sensors that extended from the front.
The Ozaukee-Oostburg team easily had the largest contingent of followers at the competition, drawing 59 family members and friends.
The fourth-place finish continues the program’s history of strong performances. It won the global challenge two years ago, and finished fifth last year.
The team has won the regional ROV competition all five years it has been held in Milwaukee.
Hendrikse said the entire team was gearing up to win the competition, but did not look at the finish as a failure.
“There is such a high level of expectation and productivity demanded in this program. When they are getting started failures happen many, many times,” he said.
“From that, the students learn to persevere and work out problems over time. Those are lessons they can apply to the rest of their lives.”
Image information: MEMBERS OF THE COMBINED Ozaukee and Oostburg high school robotics team answered questions from a panel of judges during last week’s Marine Advanced Technology Education competition in Alpena, Mich. The local team finished fourth in the international challenge.