Robotics team places third

Published 7:39 pm Friday, December 14, 2012

Zach Hensley of Thorsby, left, drives the Chilton County robotics team’s robot while Katelyn Ramsey of Isabella, right, helps him spot at a competition Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Auburn.

A robot built by Chilton County’s robotics team at LeCroy Career Technical Center earned third place for best-looking design in the South’s Best Robotics Competition held in Auburn from Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

The team—comprised of 39 high school students from Clanton, Isabella, Maplesville and Thorsby—was among the top 60 robotics teams in the eastern United States competing and finished 30th overall.

“The goal of the program is to inspire students to discover their potential and to pursue a career in engineering, science, technology and math in a sports-like science and engineering-based robotics competition,” program founder Jay LeCroy said. “When you’re selling the products, which one looks the prettiest? That’s the graphic and industrial design part of it.”

While in Auburn, the students toured Auburn University’s college of industrial and graphic design and the college of engineering.

“Students that plan to major in these fields had a chance to talk with undergraduates at Auburn in their prospective fields and learn about their daily lives and duties,” LeCroy said.

Chilton County’s team plans to participate two more competitions this school year, the first in March 2013 and the second in April 2013, in Tuscaloosa.

“The robots won’t be scratch-built,” program instructor Jason Sosa said. “They’ll be assembled from components.”

Chilton County’s robotics program is housed at LeCroy Career Technical Center.

The former building construction and carpentry department facility is currently being renovated for the robotics program to use.

“We’re hoping to move into it early next semester,” Sosa said. “The room we’re currently in was used for a conference center and assemblies. We needed something to get us by till the first of the semester. It was always our intention to have our own space.”