Author and Photographer: Andrew Moy, XO
Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association (OCCRA) is a local association formed to increase the number of students involved in competitive robotics. There are about 30 high school teams from Oakland County that compete in OCCRA. This is the second year for our team.
What is OCCRA? Well, it is a full-contact robotics competition, where teams are given instructions in September and have only six-weeks to design, build, wire, program, and practice with their exclusively student-built robot before the first competition.
The game this year is 8-Ball. Teams’ bots try to score points by placing balls into four-foot goals while their opponents try to stop them. In 8-Ball, two alliances — consisting of two teams each — will play at a time on the court during the seeding matches. With so many high schools participating, we can expect each robot to be built differently and be able to perform different tasks.
This season, our team’s bot is named Charlotte. We gave the bot this name because one of our parts came from Charlotte, North Carolina. On this part, the manufacturer’s stamp was cut leaving only “Charlotte” visible.
Charlotte’s function is to pick up two different sized balls: the game ball (16 inches in diameter) and the cue ball and 8-ball (both 24 inches in diameter). Two forward facing arms that stick out of the front of Charlotte have traction surfaces to create friction and spin in opposite directions. This pulls the ball inward, once she drives toward the ball. Next, her back arm will pivot 45 inches off the field, lifting the ball that is currently sitting in the front of Charlotte. When her arm is raised high enough, the ball rolls off her arm, sending it backwards into the goal.
Charlotte will see her first action on Oct. 24 at West Bloomfield High School. This is the first OCCRA tournament of the season. While we believe Charlotte is better built than our bot last year, we still have work to do before Saturday.
Let’s go, Corsairs!
THE BLOG TEAM
Jenna McCleese, Freshman