Throughout the course of a given year, the Texas biotech news cycle regularly produces several high-profile articles outlining breakthrough robotic designs created by top engineering students at several of the state’s academic institutions. While high-level college students and engineering professionals are often at the forefront of cutting-edge robotic technology, Texas Tech is helping to educate and encourage engineering prodigies at the middle and high school level through the school’s Texas Tech For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology Robotics Competition. Team 1817, which recently won the Hub City regional science competition, has qualified to compete at the national level competition in St. Louis, MO, from April 24-26.
This year’s competition was centered on challenging 42 different engineering teams to design, fabricate and program a robot that could successfully perform “Aerial Assist,” the title of this year’s robotic event, which featured a wide array of daunting challenges for the robot to navigate through. Texas Tech’s Team 1817 turned in an outstanding performance, and was given the Industrial Design Award sponsored by General Motors and the Industrial Safety Award sponsored by Underwriters laboratories.
While a group of Texas Tech graduate and undergraduate students known as the Llano Estacado RoboRaiders mentored the team, the team itself was composed of students from 10 local high schools and middle schools. The RoboRaider mentors work with children throughout the year to further develop leadership and teaming skills in robotic engineering as a means of encouraging the best and brightest young minds to continue to pursue robotics at the college level in Texas.