Cool Schools: Hartfield Academy

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Robots can pretty much do anything humans can. But humans have to give the right instructions.

The robotics team at Hartfield Academy knows all the right buttons to push.

It’s why they’re the Mississippi Robotics Champions.

The robotics team is one of two teams from Mississippi who will compete against teams from across the world in a robotics championship.

Their winning robot, Daulton, is a machine of many talents. He can sweep up small objects which are named minerals. He can dump them. He can even see. We are pretty much the only team that used a web cam this year. So we’re kind of proud of the fact that we were able to make it work, the team’s captain and Hartfield senior, Ciera Garrett said.

One of the youngest on the team, 8th grader Joe Gunn, says they spent a lot of time getting the sweeper to work. The rubber bands were one of the hardest parts to get just right, because it had to be put on exactly.

It took the robotics team at Hartfield Academy about two weeks to build Daulton, but not before making plenty of cardboard prototypes.

After construction comes the most important part — the coding. Henry, the team’s master coder, inputs the best mixture of characters. And during competition, the drivers have about three minutes to make sure Daulton completes a series of tasks.

We have two drivers, one controlling motion of the base of the robot…They‘ll control which direction the robot goes. And then the other driver, they’ll control the lifting and the sweeping. And then they’ll also control the dumping, putting it into the lander, Gunn said.

You would think all of these students are outstanding at math and science. My best subject isn’t Math, it’s English. So it’s a lot of problem-solving, Garrett said. There’s a job for every skill on the robotics team.

Their next robotics competition will be held April 17th20th in Houston, Texas.

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