The Arkadelphia Badger Robotics Team recently made their presence known at a large robot tournament.

The Arkadelphia Badger Robotics Team recently made their presence known at a large robot tournament.
Last week, teacher Bud McMillion and some of the students shared their experiences in building a robot for competition.
In their debut year to compete, Arkadelphia High School’s team finished in twenty-third place out of 55 teams. In addition to this honor, they also were awarded the Top Seeded Rookie Team Award after being the highest placed rookie team.
The Arkansas FIRST Regional Robotics Competition hosted seven different states and five teams from Mexico. Turnout was in excess of 60 Arkansas and regional high schools. Ninety-two qualification rounds were totaled. Although held earlier this month, the competition really began in January. It was at that time that specific requirements for the robots are shared, in the form of a “problem.”
“And that problem is released worldwide at the same time,” said McMillion.
A 12-volt battery was used for AHS’ robot. Altogether, the equipment for their creation was around $3,000.
“It’s not an inexpensive endeavor,” said McMillion.
“The actual building part was what I did,” said student Josh Wallace. “I enjoyed being hands on.”
Student Gabe Goodman was also involved in the robot’s construction and concurred with Wallace.
“I enjoyed when everything worked but the competition itself and seeing all the robots work was really cool,” said student Caleb Cornelius. “It’s a much more popular competition than I’d thought.”
Held in Little Rock’s Barton Coliseum, the competition consisted of qualification rounds in which random drawings were done. There were two teams, otherwise called “alliances”, the blue and the red.
The competitions, McMillion explained, were not presented in the form of the television series Battlebots. Instead, they featured different ways of getting points, with this year’s being reminiscent of a 1980’s video game. AHS’ competition saw players and their robots moving around energy cubes to score. Referees were present for the rounds, which lasted approximately three minutes.
“It’s like a little NASCAR event,” said McMillion of the tournament. “They have their placards up of their sponsors.”
The team’s corporate sponsors include Henderson State University’s Engineering and Physics department, the Ross Foundation and Danfoss.
McMillion confirmed the team will return to the competition next year, provided they again receive sponsorship.