Lexington robotics team visits Lincoln Laboratory


Six Lexington High School students forming the robotics team "Battery-Powered Picklejar Heads" visited the Laboratory in December to demonstrate the capabilities of their robot.

Small Business AwardThe Battery-Powered Picklejar Heads robotics team came equipped with their robot and explanations of the design process, strategy, software, and team activities for a demonstration to the Director’s Office.

The robotics team competes in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competitions, a series of regional and national challenges in which students are responsible for designing, building, and programming their robots to compete in an alliance format against other teams. The robot kit is reusable from year-to-year and is programmed using a variety of languages. Teams, including coaches, mentors and volunteers, are required to develop strategy and build robots based on sound engineering principles. Students learn to apply real-world math and science concepts and develop problem-solving, organizational, and team-building skills. Awards are given for the competition as for well as for community outreach, design, and other real-world accomplishments.

The Battery-Powered Picklejar Heads have been involved in FIRST for more than five years, but have only recently been a sister team to the Lincoln Laboratory teams. As a sister team, Robotics Outreach at Lincoln Laboratory (ROLL) ensures that the team has adequate supplies, funds, and mentorship to design, build, and program their robot for competition, and Laboratory teams assist their sister teams by staging scrimmages and sharing design concepts as well as computer programming tips. In January, the team performed well in a qualifying event, placing as a member of the finalist alliance and receiving second place for the Inspire award, the highest level of achievement in a FIRST competition, signifying a team that truly embodies the challenge of the FIRST program, represents a role model as a team, acts with gracious professionalism, and is a strong competitor on the field.

Small Business AwardJohn Kuconis led a facility tour for the robotics team, highlighting current technologies throughout the Laboratory.

The Director’s Office was treated to an explanation and demonstration of the robot built by the Lexington High School team, and in return, the team received funds to support activities and help meet robot-building requirements. While visiting the Laboratory, the team and its mentors also received a tour of facilities, with a heavy emphasis placed on the Microelectronics Laboratory.


Posted February 2013

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