By Neil Corbett – Maple Ridge News
It’s not exactly R2D2 just yet, but the new robotics team at Garibaldi secondary has an ambitious project in the works.
The team captain and inspiration is Ali Hakam, who was part of the robotics club in his old school in California before he moved to Maple Ridge.
The team’s robot won the First Robotics regional championships for Los Angeles, and advanced to the world championships in Houston, Texas, which was like the Superbowl of robotics with some 8,000 people attending.
Hakam was zapped by the robotics bug.
“I like the real-world experience and problem solving in building something like this, that you might find in the real world.”
The competition sees high school teams go head-to-head with robots they have designed, built and programmed.
“So far we’ve finished all of our electronics, we’re working on our pneumatics, so we can have automated actions on the robot,” said Hakam. “And we’re about to work on our mechanism to start lifting the power cubes … “
He grabs a milk crate wrapped in fabric.
“Our robot is supposed to be designed to be able to take these off the ground from anywhere, and move them to certain locations, whether it’s six feet up in the air, or 18 inches up, or a slot in the wall – we have to be able to move these as fast as we can, as many times as we possibly can in two and a half minutes.”