The Moorestown Friends School’s (MFS) Hawks robotics team in New Jersey has been around since 2007. And as the years have progressed, so has their robot-building acumen. Just this past year, Moorestown took first place out of 24 teams in the New Jersey FIRST Tech Challenge Meet. Using PTC Creo and 3D printing, the MFS Hawks built a robot with a handy basket that helped collect whiffle balls, place the balls in vertical tubes, and move the tubes to a platform for points. The design was so good that they surpassed team after team in the competition and made it to first.
Even cooler? The Hawks took home the PTC Design Award.
Since most of you are engineers, you know that in the real world, even if something is functional, your customer wants it to look good too.
That’s why the PTC Design Award is such a great award for these young engineers. The award specifically recognizes design elements of the robot that are both functional and aesthetic.
“You see it on the computer, and then when it finally takes form and you see it in person, it is something you can really take pride in,” says team member Travis.
The PTC Design Award bridges the gap of cool robotics with true professionalism. In addition to a functional, dapper robot, to get the award, the winning team must demonstrate respect and gracious professionalism to all, submit an Engineering Notebook with an Engineering Section that includes detailed robot design drawings, and show how the robot differentiates itself from others.
Winning this award is a great achievement, considering that these kids are juggling the rest of their school classes, extracurricular activities, and friends. It’s not easy being a teenager. But a little robotics innovation goes a long way to creating positive confidence and long-term success in these kids.
“We were pretty excited [to win]. We were working on the robot for a couple of months, and it was really nice to see all of our hard work pay off,” says Andrew, a member of the Hawks robotics team.
Way to go, Hawks – we’ll be looking forward to your many future life accomplishments!
Ed – Want to help get more students involved in robotics? Contact FIRST for information about robotics competitions in your area. Congrats and future best to the Hawks from all of us here at PTC!