Robotics team moves operations to Mercy


Riveters junior Cinya Hou and junior Sydney Puda work with mentor David Kott on programming an ultrasonic sensor. (Photo Credit: Clarisa Russenberger)

Laughter follows the bangs of the Robotics Team’s robot making its way over various obstacles. Known to team members as “Polk-A-Bot” or “Dottie,” this robot earned the Riveters a spot at the World Robotics Competition last year.

Fiberglass dust floats down from the ceiling as the students and mentors of the Riveters laugh and joke about the stability of the acoustic tiles. As this typical Riveters’ Business Team meeting continues with talk of imagery, accounting, and project management, continuous commotion can be heard from the Strategy Team, working upstairs.

The Riveters are broken into four different sub-teams, Programming, Electrical and Pneumatics (PEP) Mechanical, Strategy, and Business.  In an effort to excel in competitions, PEP programs the robot’s brains, Mechanical builds its body, Strategy maneuvers the field obstacles, and Business markets the team.

Like any well-oiled machine, each sub-team works together to ensure that the overall product functions properly. In this case, the product is a nationally ranked robotics team.

Regardless of this team’s division into four sub-teams, the camaraderie surrounding the members is almost palpable as the Riveters gather for their weekly Monday meetings.

“Last year, our goal was to make it to states, and we went to worlds,” says Strategy Team leader junior Isabelle Marrical. “There is no saying what our team can accomplish this year, if we set the right goals.”

This year, however, will be the first year these goals are met on the grounds of Mercy High School. In previous years, the Riveters worked at Articulus, a building leased by mentor Daniel Reihl. However, as the lease is ending this year, the Riveters are forced to find another space to work. Fortunately, the Riveters seized this opportunity and fulfilled the long-awaited goal of moving into Mercy. The move-in will take place on Dec. 3.