TigerTronics: Going for first place, one launch at a time

By Jillian Marshall

March 11, 2014 Updated Mar 12, 2014 at 11:09 AM EDT

Endicott, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Nearly two dozen local students will compete with teens from across the country in a technological battle.

TigerTronics is a club is made up of 24 students from Vestal and Union-Endicott high schools.

The students spent the past six weeks building the robot they'll take to larger competitions in Troy, N.Y. and Richmond, Va., in the coming weeks.

"What we're doing is launching balls into goals," said Union-Endicott senior Brandon Osterhout, as he explained the competition.

While that might sound like a menial task, it's far from it. Osterhout's mission is guide a robot to launch a 24-inch, two-and-a-half pound ball through a six-foot goal.

"We also have to pass the ball to other robots, or pass it over an object in the middle of the field," Osterhout said.

The catch is TigerTronics will have to work with two other robots.

"You're working with two other robots that you've never seen before against three other robots that you've never seen before," said TigerTronics adviser Deborah Dougherty.

For the students, it's about winning. But for the engineering mentors and advisers, being a part of TigerTronics is more than just building robots and competing.

"It's about inspiring kids to go into STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields," Dougherty said, “To inspire these kids and show them what it's like in the real world to get a problem, solve that problem, design, execute."

The team will leave for Troy on Thursday and compete in Virginia next weekend.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.