Kauaibots ready to climb next hill

LIHUE — The robot needs to climb, said Elizabeth Makizuru of the Kauaibots 2465 while working on the team’s clone robot at the space provided the team by the Kukui Grove Center.

“It works,” Makizuru said. “We need to have the robot climb to get points in the competition. The ability to climb is part of the tasks and is worth 50 points so it needs to climb.”

Makizuru worked on the winch system that is the heart of the robot’s ability to climb, and despite a bent screw, the component worked beyond expectations as the 100-pound robot pulled itself off the floor toward the supporting frame, swinging from the momentum.

The team is headed to a March 30 competition at the Stan Sheriff Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Makizuru said the robot needs to be able to climb at least eight times during the preliminary competition. If successful in advancing to the finals, the robot needs to be able to do at least nine more climbs.

Other tasks the robot needs to accomplish during this year’s competition include throwing wiffle balls into a net and moving and installing oversized gears.

“This is our clone robot,” said Caleb Hartshorn. “The competition robot has been sealed and delivered to the University of Hawaii. We can’t touch it until the competition. This clone robot is just like the one we’re using, and during this time, we can finalize adjustments, add code, and practice driving the robot.”

The Kauaibots pulls students from Kauai’s high schools to form one team with community mentorships from individuals involved in science, engineering, and technology. Its goal is to inspire youth to develop interests in becoming future leaders in the fields of science and technology.

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