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To Build a Better Robot

Nov 15, 2011   |   by Katie Beth Ryan   |   Valley News

Elementary and middle school robotics teams from the Upper Valley and beyond met at Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering on Saturday to compete in the fourth annual LEGO League Robotics Tournament. The competition was organized by the Dartmouth LEGO League.

The tournament enables children from 9 to 14 who are interested in math and science to build robots that will complete a set of challenges. This year's theme was “Food Factor: Keeping Food Safe,” and competitors were asked to consider the problem of food contamination and devise a mission for their robot to complete. Teams are given LEGO Mindstorm robot kits, to which LEGOS can be added to help the robots complete certain tasks.

“A lot of the different challenges on the tournament field are something that humans have to deal with on a day-to day basis,” said Christian Ortiz, a design fellow at the Thayer School and the co-director of Saturday's tournament. The goals of the tournament are to give students an opportunity to work collaboratively to build a functional robot, as they learn the fundamentals of engineering.

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