The Desert Vista Robotics team competed in the National Underwater Robotics Competition at Chandler High School June 8-10. Their team name was Atlantis Robotics and they were one of five teams to qualify to the final round. The students completed their final mission on June 9, at around 10:20 p.m.
For months, the team of Desert Vista students had been working on a robot for the competition. They named it N.I.G.E.L., which stands for Nautical Interceptor of Guards and Extraterrestrial Life.
The competition had nine objectives and each team had to complete as many of these tasks as possible for maximum points. These objectives included lighting up a laser buoy, retrieving inflatable aliens, avoiding the National Guard, and taking the temperature of a fuel cell in the water.
“You have to control the bot and there are tools we use on the bot, manipulations, and we use those to complete the missions,” sophomore Jillian Schraeder said.
The team’s robot was equipped to deal with each task separately.
“We have scissors on the bot,” said sophomore Clark Boudrie. “And it’s got the claw, sticking out sideways.”
“We also have three cameras, so we can see everything,” Schraeder said. “We have a thermometer and a pressure sensor and we’re using the pressure sensor to find the depth of the UFO. And, I mean, it can move.”
When it came to be their turn to compete, the Desert Vista team retrieved two aliens, measured the depth of the UFO opening, identified various components of the UFO, dodged three torpedoes from the National Guard, and activated the laser buoy. They performed very well, and took first place in the awards ceremony on Sunday.
For more information about the National Underwater Robotics Competition, visit h2orobots.org.
•Ahwatukee Foothills resident Jessica Tueller is a junior at Desert Vista High School. She is interning this summer for the Ahwatukee Foothills News.