‘Monty' brings honors to AG robotics team

Photo by Chris Barber Members of the Avon Grove Robotics Team surround their winning robot, “Monty.” The club’s adviser, Tim Tarkanick, is on the right. The club recently finished first in a regional competition at Lehigh University.

LONDON GROVE -- Members of the Avon Grove Robotics Club, along with their robot “Monty,” recently bested 33 other teams by blocking mechanical “basketball” shots at a tournament.

The 20-member club of Avon Grove High School students meets every afternoon in the school’s metal shop and tinkers around with their device that is designed to follow directions and complete an assigned task The most recent challenge for Monty was to play successful defense against other robots that were trying to score points at a regional tournament at Lehigh University.

Thanks to their skill in design and construction, the team was able to pull off a victory, keeping other robot teams from making goals with hurled balls.

Monty rolls around the floor powered by a car battery. They called him that because they were fond of him, members said. He is about a yard square at the base and has a couple of candy cane-like antennas rising from its front end.

When they team members were asked how they solve problems in design and apply them to the robot, they agreed that individuals often come up with some ideas in the night out of sleep, and then they share them with the group the next day.

When teams sign up for a competition, they are given just six weeks to program their robot to achieve the task assigned. Each competition has a different task. When the moment arrive to go into battle, they get two-and-a-half minutes to prove their mettle. The winners move on in the brackets until a top robot is determined.

Club member Carli Huber said they see many different models and shapes of robots when they go to a tournament. “One was like a trapazoid; one had a claw; one was made out of wood,” she said.

Next up for Monty and his team is the Mid-Atlantic tournament, which will also be held at Lehigh on April 10. After that, when summer comes, they take time off from the project and resume work when school starts again in the fall.

Members of the group are Mark Bright, Carli Huber, Megan Huber, Nick Kuhn, Michael Mayer, Evan Miller, Nate Parker, Dante Pesce, James Price, Andrew Rossi, Andrew Ruf, Stephen Ruf, Lauren Skurla, Michael Skurla, Marisa Tranchitella, Mario Alonso, Juan Ayllon, Marco Ramirez and Zach Walker. The advisor is Timothey Tarkanick.

About the Author

Chris Barber

Chris Barber is the editor of the Avon Grove Sun. She was previously southern bureau chief of the Daily Local News and editor of the Kennett Paper, earning honors in writing and photography. Reach the author at agsun@kennettpaper.com .