With the National Robotics Challenge just a day away, the Montpelier High School Robotics class sought some professional advice on their entries into the competition. As has been the tradition since the Robotics course began at Montpelier a few years ago, the team traveled to C.K. Technologies in order to receive the input of the company’s technical experts.
The two parties met in the office area’s conference room within the building, as robots created by the students were put on display for the C.K. Employees to give their opinions. During this time, pizza was provided for all in attendance, and technical talk soon merged with casual conversation.
But C.K. was not content to simply dispense their wisdom upon the Montpelier class. They also elected to show their support with a monetary donation. The corporation itself awarded the program $2,000. However, through a fundraising campaign put on by some of the company’s employees, the total donation handed out amounted to just under $3,000.
Next, the competitors-to-be were allowed to parade their robots around the cubicals of the office, before settling on an open space for which to show what they could do. Several smaller models rammed into each other at high speeds as their creators controlled them remotely. Then, the big machine made its way into the area. Carrying the moniker Hoosier Daddy, the behemoth was roughly twice the size of the other machines present.
Some of the employees got in on the fun as well. Students handed over their controllers, and the adults briefly felt a level of enjoyment usually reserved for children.
So much so, in fact, that they decided to return the favor.
A few of the C.K. employees offered to take the class on a tour of their facility, which has a number of unique robotics assisting workers in everyday tasks. The students eagerly accepted. Walking the floor of the injection molding factory, the group stopped by several presses as the jobs of different robots were explained to the knowledge absorbing students.
“Like a kid in a candy store.” Robotics teacher Lester Orndorff described his class.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. And the tour was finished early enough to allow the students to finish out their school day, much to their chagrin. Still, they couldn’t have been too upset, as their trip to Marion, Ohio for the Robotics Challenge was to keep them out of school for the following two days.
T.J. Hug can be reached at
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