Local Teens are Building Robots and Changing Lives

Source: Fox 8 News

CLEVELAND (WJW) — Some of the brightest young minds in Cleveland are learning to build robots and change lives.

Future engineers, astronauts, and problem solvers recently met for a robotics competition at the Great Lakes Science Center, while in another room they worked on a side project.

Yariselle Andujar and Daneala Moreno are sophomores at Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School in Cleveland.


‘Making a difference’: Cleveland robotics team designs custom prosthetic arm for teen in Ecuador

Source: WKYC New

A teen girl from Ecuador is again able to write her name for the first time in three years, thanks to the work of high school students from Cleveland and a nonprofit that delivers medical care overseas.

Samantha Chango, 13, had her left arm amputated as the result of a bus accident. Nerve damage in her right arm left her unable to move that arm, wiggle her fingers or open and close her hand.

The project would be a first for the robotics students. They were used to building industrial-sized robots for competitions, but not anything as delicate or intricate as an arm or hand. They would need to learn how to use a 3D printer and figure out how to make the prosthetic arm fit properly on a person who was thousands of miles away.
Despite the challenges, the robotics team said yes.
“I felt bad that she didn’t have money for a prosthetic,” recalled robotics team member Victoria Tellez, a senior at Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School.

Five CMSD robotics teams competed in FIRST Buckeye Regional

For six weeks leading up to the FIRST Robotics Buckeye Regional, students and their mentors and coaches built and programmed a 120-pound robot.

Sixty teams from Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania converged on the Wolstein Center on the Cleveland State University campus late last month to square off during the matches.

Five of those teams were from CMSD, with four competing for the first time.

“It’s huge. I mean, that’s an understatement,” said Arley “Mr. T” Trujillo, a mentor for the John Marshall robotics team.  “These new teams have never been to a competition before.  So, just the fact that we’re out here and able to get a robot out there, I think speaks volumes.”

The rookie teams are from East Tech, John Marshall, Davis Aerospace and Maritime, MC2STEM. The Youth Technology Academy team, a combination of students from eight CMSD high schools is a program based at Tri-C, won a world championship in 2016.

The teams faced some difficulties getting their robots to work correctly during the matches, but they held their own.

Victoria, an 11th-grader at Davis Aerospace and Maritime High School, says her team worked in the pit to make several changes to their robot, which was called The Beast.

“I had to make a program change,” said Victoria. “And we are changing the length of the arms because they were too short.”

JonDarr V.T. Bradshaw, a member of the Buckeye Regional planning committee, said during this First Robotics competition, teams had to program their robots to perform a series of autonomous tasks for the first 15 seconds of the match.

“The next minute and a half, the students operate the vehicle by remote control to collect game pieces and score points,” said Bradshaw, who also is a community engagement coordinator with the Great Lake Science Center. “The last 30 seconds we call the ‘end game’”. That is where the robots must climb up a series of monkey bars. The higher they can climb, the more points the teams will receive.”

Dewayne, a member of the East Tech team, said driving the robot is exciting.

When I am playing, I am zoned out and focused on the robot and trying to score points,” said Dewayne.

While none of the CMSD teams advanced to the finals, Zachary Wenz, the lead mentor at Mc2STEM, said all the teams gained a lot of experience and insight on how to improve their performance for the next competition.

“A big part of this is teaching them how to lead, teaching them how to communicate, teaching them how to be able to motivate and drive each other,” said Wenz. They are doing great and will do even better next year.”