Dunwoody College of Technology’s robots Rugburn and Billet will compete for the top prize at the North America Robotics National Competition May 2-3, 2009, at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. Dunwoody’s robots will engage in what organizers call a “destructive testing process” against 38 robots created by teams of middle school, high school or college students from across the United States.
The competition will be held from 12:30 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 2, and from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, May 3, in the Best Buy Rotunda of the Mall of America. The general public is welcome to stop by and watch the competition.
Rugburn (pictured) earned the title 2008-2009 Midwest Robotics League Champion after overcoming Uppercut’s 9 point lead at the Midwest Robotics League (MRL) Championship held April 12. The MRL season runs from October to April and consists of one competition per month. The Rugburn team is composed of Dunwoody College students Kris Branstetter, Mike Rhode, Casey Combs, Steve Lunseth, Josh Bartlett and Ben Kirchner with advisor Al Jaedike. Dunwoody’s other robot, Billet, came in fourth overall at the league competition. The Billet team includes students Tom Wagar, Mark Walstron, Jake Hawthorne, Josh Hervey and Andrew Karst.
The Midwest Robotics League was formed by the MPMA (Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association) to give students a chance to put their technology skills to use building robots that compete against other students’ robots. The league is for educational programs from middle school through college. The robots, which must be 15 pounds or less, are designed, built and fight each other in a destructive testing process. Trouble shooting is a key to advancement in the competition. Students need to identify failed parts and fix them for the next round.
The national competition is sponsored by the National Tooling and Machining Association.