The Nerd Herd in Action
Let the robots begin!
The Nerd Herd were finalists in last year’s competition at Atlanta. They also recently won the Brooklyn borough finals and have advanced to the regionals, which will be held soon at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. The team includes sixth, seventh, and eighth graders Gregory Chin, Noelle Mondaya, Nancy Fievre, and Benjamin Kelk. Christine Zaremba is their coach.
This year’s topic was Smart Moves. The team studied and researched the transit authority in their community to come up with a form of transportation that would be easier, faster, and environmentally friendly. They were inspired by the pedaling motion of a bicycle.
“For this year's research project, we wanted to find an innovative solution that would allow people of all ages to travel at an accelerated pace,” said 13-year-old Gregory Chin. "That would allow people to travel faster, as well as not produce any emissions.”
The team’s robot was named ‘Yellow Submarine,' based on a similar transportation idea already in use called the Shweeb. (A Shweeb is similar to biking in a plastic tube that travels along a monorail.)
“It has been programmed to perform a series of tasks on a set obstacle course with the time limit being two minutes and 30 seconds," Chin explained.
They built two models of the robot. One model shows how the Shweeb actually moves using motors, while the other one demonstrates the concept of movement through pedaling. The robot is programmed using the Lego Mindstorms NXT-G software.
The Nerd Herd continues to work on their robots 10 hours every week in preparation for the next step in competition.
“At practices, the team continues refining their robot, strategizing new missions to create manipulators for and programming the robot to accomplish those missions," said Coach Zaremba. “They also work on their research project and practice their presentation, but above all, they have fun!”
I can’t wait to find out what happens at the NYC Regional competition! I wish the Nerd Herd good luck!
PHOTO: The Nerd Herd at the Brooklyn, New York, competition recently. The group won and is on its way to regional competition. (Photo Courtesy Gowtham Balaji)