Despite burglary, Southeast robotics club competes

Find out how, after being robbed of key parts, the Lents neighborhood based “Metal Beavers” robotics team did at their regional competition …

FRC Team 1432 The Metal Beavers crew members work on their robot, before the regional competition begins. Team 1432 photo

By David F. Ashton

After burglars broke in on the evening of March 18, and stole key components used to control their robot just days before the regional competition in Philomath, Oregon, it looked as if the FIRST Robotics Competition Team 1432, “The Metal Beavers”, was finished for the season.

> See our story about the burglary: CLICK HERE.

The crew of FRC Team 1432 The Metal Beavers wait to “take the playing field”. Team 1432 photo

“Our team members are rewriting the code, so the robot will move again,” reported one of the team’s mentors, Rebecca LohKamp on March 27, the day the Regional Finals began. “This is with many thanks to the ‘Lake Monsters’ from Lakeridge High in Lake Oswego for loaning us a laptop and programmer interface.”

But the team faced even more challenges as they packed up their robot, borrowed computer and supplies, and headed south to Philomath High School for the regional competition.

FRC Team 1432 controller and driver, Alex and Ian, make the robot perform during the Regional competition. Team 1432 photo

On the way, the robot was damaged, so the team had to fix the damaged parts, and finish writing the needed computer code.

“Special thanks to FRC Team 847 ‘Phred’ from Philomath High School for sending several mentors and students to help, as well as FRC Team 957 ‘SWARM’ of West Albany, for helping us with our pneumatics,” LohKamp said.

“By the time the robot was fully functional, the competition was almost over but we got to compete,” LohKamp remarked. “And, we didn’t come in dead last!”

This year’s FRC Team 1432 robot makes it through the obstacle course. Team 1432 photo

The most important thing is that the students learned some valuable lessons, LohKamp said. “They learned gracious professionalism, cooperation, perseverance, and the generosity of others.”

The team has returned the borrowed equipment, are now raising funds to replace the stolen equipment items. You can donate to the team at: GoFundMe: CLICK HERE.

Or, to learn more about FRC Team 1432, “The Metal Beavers”, visit their website: CLICK HERE.

The Metal Beavers’ robot makes points by picking up “recycling”. Team 1432 photo

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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