Isabella seniors bring robots to life

Published 5:52 pm Friday, April 15, 2011

Isabella seniors Heather Mason and Kaylyn Culp work together to assemble a puppy that responds to sound in their Advanced Physics class.

Isabella High School’s Senior Advanced Physics class has been working together to combine “physics with robotics” for the last two weeks.

The students have been assembling, calculating and programming robots to perform specific tasks and travel at different velocities.

“Building it is the easy part,” said Jay LeCroy, Isabella High School teacher. “It’s the programming that makes it more complex. The students have to develop logic statements then make the robots work. They are learning how to solve problems using science and technology.”

The students built a crane, puppy, snake, car, robotic claw and a gun that shoots.

“This is the first class to try this project, and it requires them to be very hands–on and interactive,” said LeCroy. “I’m having fun with it, too. I’m building one myself to see what I can do with it.”

The class had five goals to reach throughout the course of the project. The five goals include building a basic program and a robot capable of traveling through a maze; the robot had to travel long distances; incorporate sensors; students had to build arms for the robot to pick up objects; and freelancing, which gave students the chance to be creative but had to combine the other four goals.

“At this point, this is the only engineering class offered in Chilton County that allows the students to build and program their own devices,” said LeCroy.

The students have been provided with $4,500 worth of equipment purchased with a combination of four grants from PEECH, Rep. Jimmy Martin, Electric Cooperative and Sen. Hank Irwin, said LeCroy.

“The students enjoy this, and I think it will help them in their futures,” said LeCroy. “Jobs want people who know what they are doing and who have the experience.”