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Midstate Team "Imagines" robotics competition title - abc27 WHTM

Midstate Team "Imagines" robotics competition title

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For a group of bright young men in Palmyra, robotics is like a varsity sport for the mind. They enjoy building a robot, testing it, then competing with it against 25-thousand like-minded students from around the world.

The recently formed seven member team is called "Imagine It," And they've already earned a shot at a world robotics title by taking top honors last month at regional competition in Delaware. At twice-a- week work sessions, the team practices maneuvering the robot inside a 12 feet by 12 feet arena, using both pre-programmed and driver-controlled modes. During today's pre-programmed run through, the 16-inch high combination of gears, motors and sensors did not want to cooperate, preferring to spin in place. But that's okay. Correcting those kinds of problems is how these young people hone their scientific and engineering skills.

Normally, the team would iron out that problem before moving on. But, for our visit, they switched their robot to remote control mode.

Within a 2-minute time limit, the robot captured several plastic rings and hung them on a grid of pipes, much in the fashion of tic tac toe. Overseeing all this planning and practicing is team mentor, Brian Hibshman.

"I'm just trying to guide these guys," said Hibshman. "I help bring order out of the chaos. With lots of different ideas and opinions."

As for the team members themselves, there are rewards for their hard work that go beyond competitions.

17-year-old future robotics engineer, Daniel Schwab, is all for the team approach to learning and competing. "The friendship and fellowship of being on a team, working with other people, to do something like this, there's something that you can get out of that, that you can't really get out of working on your own at home," he said.

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