10 Nov AquaBot enthusiasts ace pool challenges

The Nayland College AquaBots team blew competition out of the water to come second place in the annual AquaBots Competition at the Aquatic Centre in Richmond on Sunday 30th of October.  The team was made up of year nine students Alex Pope, Caleb Fitzgerald and Quaid Parkins.

The event is run annually by the Ministry of Inspiration. It is open to all high school students and aims to let students experience technology, explore the science behind it, and use problem solving skills during the process of building their own robot.

The enthusiastic team spent time out of school hours working on their robot.  They had to test it thoroughly and modify their model with a hydraulic arm to make it easier to pick up items under water. Each team member had a particular role to play on the day with one driving the robot via a control box, another operating the hydraulic claw, and the third being in charge of the power cable.

The day’s events were varied. They included picking up artificial coral and putting it in a bucket at the bottom of the pool, an obstacle course where the aquabot had to race through hoops from one end of the pool to the other, and making a presentation about their aquabot to a jury.   Team Nayland came second in the obstacle course and second in their presentation, leading to an impressive second overall ranking, just a few points behind the winning team from Motueka High School.  “We thought we’d do pretty well, but not that well,” team member Quaid Parkins said.  “We only had three (in our team), some other teams had six.”

According to teacher Jacqueline de Jong, the team worked extremely well together.  They are determined to participate again next year and have already made some plans to refine their robot.