Tallmadge High School's Devilition team fares well at regional RoboBot competition

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Bob Redinger and his Tallmadge Devilition team fared well at the AWT (Alliance for Working Together) Regional RoboBot competition April 26 at Lakeland Community College.

The team, consisting of senior Vlad Bohatjuk and freshmen Garrett Fleming, Kent Hoang, Noah Jackson, Cindy Lam, Melissa Speelman and Sneha Srinivasan, is sponsored by FM Machine Co. of Akron.

The team's initial battle was not actually a battle at all. An electrical failure within the robot provided no power to the remote controller that drives the robot. As a result, Tallmadge made the decision to "tap-out" to minimize the damage from our competitor. The hard working Tallmadge team was able to repair the electrical problem and proceeded to win its next two matches without sustaining any significant damage to the robot.

During the next match, Jeremy Grigsby, a Tallmadge High School graduate who works at FM Machine and was very instrumental in the design and intricate machining of the robot named the "Devils' Shredder," got the challenge of facing a robot that his father (Robert Grigsby) helped design at Reuther Mold. Naturally, a father/son match increased the intensity of this battle. Devilition aggressively attacked the Garfield High School/Reuther team in hopes that this aggressiveness would be noticed by the judges if the match lasted the full 3 minutes. The weapon on Tallmadge's robot did disable Garfield's weapon upon impact, but bent the drive shaft for Tallmadge's weapon rendering it useless as well. With the weapons on both teams disabled, the Devils' Shredder was able to pin Garfield's robot against the wall for the 20 second time period to win its third consecutive match.

Since most schools had already been eliminated in the double elimination format, Devilition had very little time to repair its robot before the next match. When they were asked to enter the fighting arena, Tallmadge asked for and was granted a 20 minute grace period. The entire robot had to be dismantled to remove the bent drive shaft, attach another weapon to a spare drive shaft and completely reassemble the robot with the new drive. Devilition went into repair mode. Lam, Bohatjuk and Srinivasan were crawling all over the robot with wrenches flying, trying to complete their task with the added pressure of being timed by a scoreboard. Redinger and the coaches from FM Machine were not permitted to physically assist Devilition in any way during repairs. Only verbal instructions were permitted. When the 20 minute buzzer sounded, Devilition gave the officials their "thumbs up" that they had successfully assembled an operational robot.

Although the robot battled well with Jackson at the controls, Tallmadge ultimately lost.

"I personally want the Tallmadge team to know that I could not have been more proud of them and can't wait to work with them again next year to design and build an even better robot, having gained a lot of knowledge at this great event," said Joel Christian of FM Machine. "I'd also like to thank Roger Sustar, owner of Fredon Corp., who created this National Robotics League-sanctioned RoboBot competition for our area back in 2011 with just 11 sponsored teams. This year's event featured 31 sponsored teams with the expectation of an even larger turn out next year."

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