Raider Robotics Teams Find Success At Competitions

FULTON – Dedication and commitment have helped a group of G. Ray Bodley High School students engineer their way to success in local robotics competitions.

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Junior Jeremy Samson prepares for battle during a recent robotics competition.

The students, who constructed and programmed their own robots in an after-school robotics club, were deemed tournament champions during the recent Bodley Bot Bash at GRB and Starstruck in Baldwinsville.

Advisor Mike Thurlow said his hands-off approach has encouraged students to take ownership of their ideas and that is what ultimately has driven the students to success.

“Ultimately it’s all on their shoulders,” he said.

What has made the team unstoppable is their willingness to improve, according to junior Jeremy Samson.

The third-year club member said through all of the trial-and-error periods he has vastly improved his programming and mechanical skills.

Samson said he enjoys challenging himself with the 20 other club members after school and joining competitions to showcase their talents.

VEX Robotics puts out challenges for students to tackle in matches either as individual teams or in alliance, where competing teams choose partners from their school or outside schools to work with.

GRB teams have competed both ways.

In the recent New York State VEX Robotics State Championship, held in Syracuse, one raider robot made it to the semi-finals round of the technology bracket and another made it to the quarter finals of the engineering bracket.

While the competitions are over for the 2016-2017 school year, Thurlow said his students are already working on developing new drive trains and testing different gear ratios so robots can be faster next year.

Thurlow said the new VEX challenge for the 2017-2018 school year will be released in April.