Ontonagon robotics team powered up for second season

Skip Schulz/For the Gazette From left, the 2018 Ontonagon High School robotics team is Abby Ollila, Phillip Voss, Bradley Myhren, Micah Blake, James Domitrovich, Mathew Niemi, Whitney Rule and Luke Soumis.

ONTONAGON — The theme of this year’s International High School Robotics competition is “Power Up,” an homage to the birth of the video gaming era in the 1980s.

At Monday’s Ontonagon Area School District (OASD) Board meeting, the Gladiators robotics team presented its yet-to-be-competed robot.

“We still have work to do on our robotic,” said robotics team coach Glen Beck. “Our students are working on the computer programmer. We’re going with a single-stage lift, others may be using a two- or three-stage lift.”

Beck explained what the robotic has to do in the competition.

Competitions begin in Escanaba on March 16-17. Other levels of the completion includes the state finals at Lake Superior State University in April.

“Last year we had five students on the team,” Beck said. “This year we have 12, including the five from last year. I’m excited to have those five back.”

This year’s project includes some parts from the robot that made it all the way to St. Louis last year.

“We are allowed to re-use some parts, such as the computer board. We will need a new Wi-Fi module.”

Beck told the OASD Board as to how big the robotics competition has become, including all the people that go to the competition just to watch.

Last year the community raised the funds to help the Ontonagon Robotics team with travel and lodging expenses, and plan on doing fund-raisers again this year.

“We’re hoping to repeat on our success from last year,” concluded Beck.