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Robotics team prepares for its Severance High School qualifier and state

Michelle Gentry
Team 5115 hoists the trophy from their Regis University Qualifier. Team 5115 won the Inspire Award, deeming them one of the best teams at the competition.

Robotics has always been an influential club in the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Windsor’s robotics club has drawn many eyes to their activities this school year through their performance in competitions in addition to their innovative ideas. 

Robotics has more than one team, but the most prominent and successful hosts the oldest and most involved students. Steve Cline (staff), the robotics club sponsor, said, “As a group the team is probably the most effective team we’ve ever had, especially considering there are seven of them …. They work well together and I think that’s why they do so well.” Team 5115 — also known as “Escape Velocity” — has created an incredibly advanced robot following the competition guidelines. 

Graden Gentry (11) is one of the lead members on the team, doing the majority of coding for the team’s robot. In addition to programming the robot, Gentry also led the process of developing an autonomous system for the robot. 

Graden Gentry (11) codes the autonomous function into the robot. In preparation for the Severance High School competition, Gentry is optimizing the function to help the team score points. (Tristyn Bruning)

“The autonomous, essentially what it does … is it figures out the kinematics of the robot and tells it to go here or gives it a path to go on …. Which requires a lot of tuning,” Gentry said. 

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The autonomous feature is a form of artificial intelligence that is based on the capabilities of the robot; however, it is a difficult feature to develop considering the dynamics of systems in place. Gentry and the rest of the team have spent countless hours working out all the features of the robot’s autonomous function.

In addition to wanting to create a strong autonomous feature, the team has an ultimate goal of making it to the world competition. To do that they have to compete well at the Colorado state competition on Feb. 17. 

The team has already qualified for the state competition via their performance at Regis University: “They (Team 5115) were deemed the top overall team by winning the Inspire Award and at every competition that award signifies the team that most embodies the process, now usually those teams are also effective on the field, which they were …. They are among the top two teams on the field, and they only lost to a former world champion team,” Cline said. 

Robotics in the past has been a primarily male-focused field; however, Delaney Kintz (11) and two others are some of the females participating in Windsor’s robotics club in addition to the many others statewide. “I decided to join the robotics team because Graden asked me to help with the design of the notebook and portfolio. So far I’ve stayed away from the technical side of things, but it’s been so much fun and a really amazing atmosphere,” Kintz said. 

Kintz didn’t want to just join for the intellectual piece though. She had another reason for joining in addition to other factors: “One thing was I wanted to get in contact with others and get in contact with others in the robotics community. But also I wanted to try something new.”

Delaney Kintz (11) poses with other females to promote “First like a girl.” Kintz joined robotics to get more experiences like the one shown in the photo. (Delaney Kintz)

Coming into the Severance High School State Qualifier on Feb. 10, the team isn’t looking to earn a qualification to the state competition as they already earned their spot at Regis University. The team’s main goal at the qualifier is to really just to “show off”: “Honestly what we’re trying to do is just show off what we’re going to do at state. After that we just want to win as many awards as possible, as many trophies, it really doesn’t matter too much. We’re trying to show off what we’re going to do at state,” Gentry said. 

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Tristyn Bruning
Tristyn Bruning, Co-Editor
Tristyn Bruning is a junior at Windsor High School, the co-editor of the newspaper, the design and photography editor for the yearbook and the varsity boys' soccer goalkeeper. He has great ambitions to earn an admission to the United States Naval Academy.
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