Student: Robotics Season Kickoff Adapting Vehicles for Special Needs

January 17, 2018

The Roaring Riptide First Robotics Team 4118 and the University of Florida’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering students and faculty are all systems go for the FIRST Robotics 2018 build season!

This season, about 30-member P.K. Yonge team (40% female) are hard at work to meet the challenge to “Power Up” and rescue video game characters trapped in an arcade game. The challenge requires teams to develop robots with the capacity to move power cubes (or boxes) along the floor, pick them up and place them on a scale, as well as ascend a vertical structure. All this, while forming alliances and working with other FIRST Robotics teams to play the game and meet the challenge.


P.K.’s Roaring Riptide and other Gainesville high school robotics teams met at the New Physics building along with students and faculty from the University of Florida’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department in anticipation of the FIRST Robotics ‘game’ for the 2018 season. The FIRST Robotics competition begins each year with a kickoff event in January and teams all over the country and around the world stay glued to the FIRST website in anticipation for the reveal of the “game” of the season. With the game revealed on January 6th, teams are wasting no time in brainstorming, prototyping, and testing ideas for the build of their 2018 robot.

Outside of build season, the Roaring Riptide aren’t taking a break. The team uses skills gained in FIRST to work on public relations, recruiting, and to participate in community service projects like modifying small cars and toys to assist students with disabilities. The team will be invited to a “Maker Day” in February hosted by the Assistive Technology Industry Association to showcase modifications they have made to vehicles adapted for children who are unable to use wheelchairs.

Read the Gainesville Sun story: P.K. Yonge students adapt toys for disabled children



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