Franklin robotics team seeks ‘fulfillment’ in next competition

From staff reports

The Franklin Area Junior/Senior High School BEST Robotics team is fervently finishing its projects for the 2022 BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) Robotics Made 2 Order challenge.

This year’s competition challenges the team to create a robot for use in a fulfillment center. The robot must be able to gather items to fulfill orders, move boxes to appropriate locations, and work as a collaborative robot, or “cobot,” by controlling the fulfillment center’s robot, which is named Squeaky.

This is the first year that BEST Robotics Inc. has challenged students to build a robot that could control another robot, and the first year that BEST has challenged students to incorporate infrared technology into their design.

“With this year’s robotics challenge, our engineering team has been faced with re-design upon re-design,” said Bo Dean, a junior who serves as vice president of engineering, “but I’m confident in our team’s ability to conquer the competition.”

For this challenge, the robotics team must organize itself as a business. The 42-member team is broken down into two main areas: engineering and marketing.

While the engineering team designs a robot from scratch, ensuring all students follow safety procedures and documenting the design process, the marketing team creates a Shark Tank-style presentation to persuade potential buyers (the judges) to buy their robot, building a marketing exhibit to showcase their team and robot and promoting the program on social media.

The marketing portion of the competition will take place Friday evening, Oct. 21, at Grove City College. The robotics competition will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22.

People are encouraged to attend Saturday’s robotics competition to support the team. The team will earn additional points for spirit and sportsmanship based on the number of fans attending.

This is Franklin’s eighth year competing in the BEST Robotics competition. The program is open to students in grades 8 through 12.

“This program brings out the best in our students and provides a good example of real-life jobs and scenarios,” said Ben Krellner, a freshman who serves as the team’s chief executive officer.


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