GEAR - Geauga Engineering and Robotics

GEAR wins five awards at 2018 NRC!

Special thanks to Lubrizol Corp. and 4-H Junior Leaders

Lubrizol and Junior Leaders were major donors to GEAR in 2017. Without their support and support of others, our success at the NRC would not have been possible.

The following GEAR members participated at the 2018 National Robotics Challenge, April 12 to 14.

Robot Maze Contests

Gregory Wenner: non-tactile maze robot, high school division.

Peter Wesen: non-tactile maze robot, middle school division

As our veteran members return to the NRC for another year of competition, we encourage them to strive for improvement over results from a previous year. In the case of the maze contest, Gregory and Peter were attempting to reduce their run times for the maze. In practice before the contest, Gregory and Peter had numerous successful runs with times that would put them in first place. However, during the contest, their robots were unable to run the course without touching a wall. We believe that the sensors used for our robots were the cause and club advisors have challenged Gregory and Peter to search for better sensor solutions for next year.

Rescue Robot Contest

Grant Congdon (operator) and Alyssa Mobley : Gold Award, rescue robot, middle school division

Sam Patterson, Nick Res and Gordon Zeitz (operator): Silver Award, rescue robot, middle school division

Aidan Dondero and Luke Reed (operator): Silver Award, rescue robot, high school division

Internet of Things Contest

Grant Congdon, Aidan Dondero, Alyssa Mobley, Bryn Morgan and Peter Wesen : Gold Award, high school division. There is no middle school division offered for the IoT contest. All members of our IoT team are in seventh grade, but were allowed by the NRC organizers to compete at the high school level.

Honda Innovation Award

Grant Congdon, Aidan Dondero, Alyssa Mobley, Bryn Morgan and Peter Wesen were awarded the Honda Innovation Award for their Internet of Things entry. This is the top award given each year at the NRC.

CLICK HERE for a video of the awards ceremony.

GEAR IoT team (from left to right): Alyssa Mobley, Aidan Dondero, Peter Wesen, Bryn Morgan and Grant Congdon.

Our IoT team constructed a robot that is controlled via the Internet from a remote location. The robot is equipped with a camera (attached to a servo for pan function) which takes photographs of the area surrounding the robot. The photographs are uploaded by an automated process to the GEAR web site, where they can be viewed from any computer with an Internet connection. Here is a photo taken by the robot during the interview for the Honda Innovation Award. The robot also records the temperature, relative humidity and barometric pressure. In addition, a voltage divider, including a potentiometer, is installed on the robot. By adjusting the potentiometer, a variable voltage is applied to an analog to digital (A/D) IC chip, where the voltage is converted to a digital signal. The voltage, in digital form, is recorded by the robot and bundled with the weather data. The data is assembled into graph form by an automated process and uploaded to the GEAR web site. Here is a graph that was posted by the robot while at the NRC. The robot was also equipped with a microphone for recording audio in the vicinity of the robot. The audio was recorded by an automated process in .wav format, converted to .mp3 format, and then uploaded to the GEAR web site. Here is a short test recording done by Aidan Dondero during the contest.

The major electronic components of the robot are: 1) Raspberry Pi model 3, 2) Arduino Uno and 3) DimensionEngineering motor controller. The Raspberry Pi was programmed using the Python language and the Arduino was programmed using the Arduino language (a C language). The Arduino is better suited to control of servos and motors (by pulse width modulation) and is used for that purpose. The Raspberry Pi is used for other tasks, such as collecting sensor data, preparing data for presentation, and uploading data to the GEAR web site. Adafruit IO is used as the IoT service for remote connection of a controlling laptop to the robot. Control signals sent to the robot from the Adafruit IO broker are received by the Raspberry Pi and then passed on to the Arduino via a USB serial connection between the two devices. The Arduino sends PWM signals to the motor controller, which in turn controls rotation rate and direction of two DC motors attached to the rear wheels of the robot. The robot was constructed on site during the contest. All programming lines for the Raspberry Pi and Arduino were written by the IoT team. No plug and play devices were used.

Rescue Robot built by Grant Congdon and Alyssa Mobley




Rescue Robot built by Aidan Dondero and Luke Reed



Rescue Robot built by Sam Patterson, Nick Res and Gordon Zeitz



Please check back later for photos of the contest



Last update: April 22, 2018