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Robojackets compete in regional competition

Rachel Adair, Staff

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The Starkville High Sea Perch team competed in their Regional competition Saturday, March 24, their third year to compete in this underwater robotics competition. Seventeen teams competed in the southern region.

Last year, the Robojackets placed first overall at the regional competition and advanced to the national competition held in Atlanta.

The Robojackets won second in the challenge course out of more than 50 teams throughout the continental US and Puerto Rico.

“We had a very successful season last year. Our hub has two of the five best teams in the world, so we had some tough competition,” robotics engineering coach Ty Adair said.

For the challenge course, each team had to design an ROV (remotely operated vehicle) capable of transporting three rings, three cubes and three pipes from the origin to a platform 10 feet away.

For the obstacle course, their ROV also had to maneuver through a series of 5 rings three feet apart. Both the challenge course and obstacle course were worth 33.3% of the overall competition.

The last 33.3% of the competition was the engineering notebook each team had to create. The team’s design iterations are recorded in the notebook throughout their preparation time leading up to competition.

Tyler Adair is a Sea Perch team member and son of Ty Adair.

“Finding out the challenge that we have to do is always fun because we can start designing our ROV for the specific challenge for that year,” senior Tyler Adair said.

In the challenge course, the Robojackets placed second. Adair, the son, operated the ROV in the challenge course. He completed the challenge in 3 minutes and 59.5 seconds.

“To prepare for the competition, we practiced in the water at least 3 times a week for a month leading up to competition. We lost to one of the best teams in the nation, so there wasn’t much more we could have done to prepare,” Tyler said.

The Gulf Coast Contenders, the team that defeated the Robojackets, completed the challenge in three minutes and 12.3 seconds.

In the obstacle course, the Robojackets took second. They went through all of the rings in 43.2 seconds. Marshall Skelton operated the ROV in this portion of the competition. The Robojackets fell to the Gulf Coast Contenders who took 38.6 seconds to complete the rings.

In the engineering notebook, the Robojackets won second. Kari Oppedal, Morgan Javorsky, and Cassie Javorsky wrote the engineering notebook for the Robojackets.

“The most challenging thing about writing the engineering notebook was having to hand write everything. We had to be very careful because if we messed up, we had to rewrite that page,” Oppedal said.

The Robojackets won second overall and will not advance to the national competition this year.

Coach Ty Adair said, “Coming into this season, we tried our very best to keep our national title, but we fell to a better team. They could only send one team from our region to the national competition, and the Contenders were better than we were.”

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