Robotics team competes at state UIL, wins exhibit award


Courtesy of Bill Troyer

The robotics team with the robot F.U.L.G.O.R.A. (Fully Functioning Utility Line and Grid Operational Reattachment Apparatus), named after the Roman goddess of lightning.

Canyon High’s robotics team won best exhibit design and construction at the UIL State Robotics: Best Division Dec. 5 and 6.

After placing third out of 20 teams in the West Texas BEST (Boosting Engineering, Technology and Math) competition, the robotics team advanced to state for the ninth time and came home with a victory.  Head of Computer Aided Drafting (C.A.D.), sophomore Cameron Renner said the team had four main goals before going to state.

Courtesy of Cameron Renner

“We had to design the course so we could practice driving,” Renner said. “We had to actually build the robot. We had to design the robot, and we had to design our display. The display shows off who our school is and different information about what the game is. We built ours like a transformer and had different electrical equipment surrounding the walls.”

Renner used C.A.D. to create a virtual 3D drawing of the robot, spending about 50 hours drawing on the computer.

“It was a lot of trial and error,” Renner said. “A lot of the pieces moved and changed. I think we did pretty good. I am really happy about our display. A lot of schools came over to our display and said my C.A.D. drawings were really good. That made me feel amazing.”

Junior Reyna Kendrick is the president of the Robotics Club and said the project is not limited to building the robot.

“There’s a presentation, a notebook and the exhibit, which is what we got first place in,” Kendrick said. “Excel Energy donated a lot of electrical items, and that’s what we showed off. That’s why we won because we were the only team to do that.”

The team spent two days setting up the exhibit and preparing for the competition titled “Off the Grid.”

Courtesy of Cameron Renner

“We built our robot to restore the power grid,” Kendrick said. “Basically, it was making a robot put up power lines and put in conduit pipes.”

The team had to research and write a paper explaining what would happen if the power grid were to fail.

“In the marketing presentation, we presented our club as a company,” said Blake Loria, junior and Robotics Club secretary. “We talked about how our robot was the best in the competition, and how it could be used in real-life situations. How we used real specs and talked about the power lines going down is what the judges liked.”

Eighteen members make up the team of mostly freshmen, with only four returning members.

“I am really proud that we got first place in our exhibit,” Kendrick said. “We weren’t expecting that. We don’t usually do that well at state. Since next year we’re not going to have such a new team, I think it will be a lot better.”