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National Robotics Week!

April 8th, 2017 No comments

Its National Robotics week! https://www.nationalroboticsweek.org/

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Robotic Summer Camps

May 26th, 2016 No comments

Looking for a robotics camp for your kids in Memphis. Here is the list of the one’s I know about:

Cloud 901 at the public library is hosting a few camps for kids interested in robotics and programing. To see the list of camps CLICK HERE

University of Memphis Herff College is hosting its Girls Experiencing Engineering camp which will be focused on robotics this year. See THIS LINK for more details.

Collierville Robotics is hosting two VEX Robotics camps. For more info see THIS WEBSITE

I will add more as I find out about them. If you know of a robotics camp, please let me know so I can post them here….email them to dkohn96@gmail.com.

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Students Compete In Louisiana Underwater Robot Competition

May 23rd, 2016 No comments

The Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate (5/21, Richards) reported that the “US Navy National SeaPerch Challenge pitted teams of middle and high school students against each other” as they “raced handmade underwater robot-like contraptions…during a competition Saturday at the LSU Natatorium.” The Advocate says that 536 boys and 273 girls took part, “in line with national trends, where women fill 25 percent of science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs.” Assistant Professor at LSU and director of the Gulf Coast Regional SeaPerch Challenge Bridgette Davis “said the real world application is critical for STEM education in Louisiana, given that much of the state’s economy involves being on or around water.” Executive Director of the SeaPerch Program Susan Nelson said, “We (graduate) less than 70,000 engineers in a year, so there aren’t enough people to fill the pipeline. … (The Navy) likes programs like this because of that reason.”

Ed Note: From Memphis: The Robochiefs from Craigmont High School Ranked 62 overall, 69th in the Obstacle Course 51st in the Challenge Results and 39th in the Poster! Congratulations!

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Whitehaven Elementary Heads to Vex World Championships

April 20th, 2016 No comments

From: WREG

WHITEHAVEN, Tenn. — They are not even old enough to drive cars yet, but these Whitehaven kids are driving robots all the way to an international competition.

Whitehaven Elementary students are leaving to compete in the world robotics championship Wednesday.

WREG’s Katie Rufener caught up with the kids to see how they are preparing and what they have planned for their futures.

“You can like, do anything you want, like make any type of robot,” 9-year-old Aarilyn Yacorps said of why she loves her robotics team.

With a little teamwork and a lot of hard work, these kids from Whitehaven Elementary’s STEM Academy built robots and beat out teams from all across the state to qualify for the world championship.

They are one of three schools from Tennessee competing.

The Whitehaven Elementary School kids spent about two months working on their robotics.

The robots drop orange balls into a bin to earn points in the competition.

This is only the second year they have competed in the VEX competition, and both times they have qualified.

In a neighborhood that deals with a lot of crime, these kids are rising above.

STEM teacher Meagan Michael explained, “We’re an optional school. So these kids test into our school. They have to maintain certain grades.”

They have gotten a lot of community support, and the kids just got a $20,000 grant from Verizon for their program.

And even at such a young age, they are ready to change the world.

“I want to be a biomedical engineer, because that works with medical and engineering, like prosthetics,” Yacorps said.

“You need to find your passion, and don’t let anybody else stop you from having your passion!” 8-year-old Pasley Thompson said.

The kids will leave for the competition in Louisville at 7 a.m. Wednesday and return Sunday.

Doing well in the championship can lead to scholarship opportunities down the road.

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Collierville Robotics @ TSA Conference

April 19th, 2016 No comments

On Apr 6-9 Collierville HS participated at the TN State TSA conference Vex Robotics Competition and were Tournament Semifinalists (VRC/VEXU).

Congratulations Collierville!!!

See VEX Website

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Collierville HS Wins VEX State Championship

March 11th, 2016 No comments

Congratulations to the Collierville VEX Robotics Team who won the TN State Championship on Saturday in Nashville. The robot named “The Illuminati” was crowned Tournament Champion and will advance to the VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, KY April 20-23. The Illuminati team also received the Sportsmanship award, voted on by the other tournament teams and Shelli Brasher (their coach) received the award for TN VEX Partner of the Year for establishing VEX robotics in West TN.

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The Collierville team is looking for sponsors to help offset transportation, hotel and meals costs. Contact Shelli Brasher at (sbrasher@colliervilleschools.org) if you are interested in helping sponsor the team at the world competition.

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Robots shoot and score at Collierville High School robotics competition

February 10th, 2016 No comments

From Commercial Appeal

By Linda A. Moore
Posted: Jan. 16, 2016

Inside the varsity gym at Collierville High School Saturday, balls flew through the air, teammates cheered each other’s success, referees in striped shirts made sure everyone observed the rules and adversaries shook hands in congratulations on a game well-played.

But nobody was aiming for the high hoops.

It was the first Dragon Invitational VEX Robotics Competition.

“We have a lot of rookie teams here from Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas,” said Shelli Brasher, STEM (science technology, engineering and math) teacher at Collierville High.

More than 100 students made up 22 teams from 10 middle and high schools. They competed in competition in which robots shot balls into nets about four feet high, while other robots moved balls around for points.

“Part of the strategy is learning to work with the other robot to maximize the points,” Brasher said.

Drew Central High School in Monticello, Arkansas, was among those competing.

“The learning that takes place is out of this world — problem-solving, logistics. It’s amazing,” said Barbie Eubanks, a former science teacher-turned-librarian and robotics team coach.

The robots are made of metal with gears, rollers, rubber bands and wheels. Some are directed through remote control and others have been programmed by the students.

The competitors battled in “Nothing But Net,” with points earned by robots that push balls under a low goal or shoot balls into a high goal.

Throughout the day, teams were eliminated until those who advanced to the championship round created “alliances” with other teams and skillfully selected partners that would enhance the abilities of their own team.

For example, said Nicholas Perkins, 16, a junior at Southaven High School and a member of the DeSoto County Career Tech West team, his team formed an alliance with the Jackson (Tennessee) Area Robotics team, whose robot rose more than 12 inches, gaining extra points.

“You get to learn what other people can do with their robots,” he said. “And if you’re lucky, you get a plaque.”

By the end of the day, the final bracket pitted the Red Alliance — formed by teams from Brentwood Academy from Brentwood, Tennessee, and Collierville High — against the Blue Alliance, with teams from Drew Central; its neighbor, Monticello Occupational Education Cooperative, and Memphis Collegiate School.

In the best-two-out-of-three round, the robot from Brentwood quickly gobbled up balls and tossed them into the net, while Drew Central’s team fed balls to a robot that flung them with impressive accuracy.

But in the end, the Red Alliance won the day.

“I’m extremely proud of them and that they were able to do it all with their hometown team,” said Kelly Griffin, engineering teacher at Monticello Occupational.

Hank Roberson, 13, an eighth-grader at Brentwood, was thrilled with his team’s win.

“We’ve had to redo our robot three times, so this feels like the final one,” he said. “It feels like my baby.”

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Upcoming Robotics Competitions In Memphis

January 13th, 2016 No comments

Vex Dragon Robotic Invitational (VRC and VIQC) 01/16/2016 @ Collierville High School

West TN FIRST Lego League Championship 01/23/2015 @ University of Memphis, University Center Ballroom

GRAD GRIFFIN NOTHING BUT NET (VRC) 01/29/2016 @ Grad Academy

Vex Dragon Robotics Invitational 2 (VRC and VIQC) 02/20/2016 @ Collierville High School

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2014 Robot Gift Guide

March 4th, 2015 No comments
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Swiss technology, robotics company to bring 200 jobs to Memphis

March 4th, 2015 No comments

From: WMC Action News 5
Date: Mar 3, 2015

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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC)

ABB, a Swiss company that specializes in power and automation technology, announced that they will soon bring hundreds of new jobs to Memphis.

According to an ABB spokesperson, the company is investing $30 million to build a new manufacturing site in Memphis. They also plan to expand their customer experience center for the Low Voltage Products division.

ABB says the new facility will bring 200 jobs initially, with 100 more jobs added over the next five years.


From: Commercial Appeal
Date: Mar 3, 2015

Swiss industrial conglomerate ABB Ltd. plans to ramp up engineering, add 300 jobs and build a $30 million plant in Greater Memphis.

The expansion would be ABB’s first in the area since the $3.9 billion buyout three years ago of Memphis-based electrical products maker Thomas & Betts Corp.

ABB executives announced the 120,000-square-foot plant Tuesday during a trade show at Houston. A site was not identified although ABB is working to complete a deal for the property, company spokesman Harry Hurst said.

Adding 300 jobs would bring the company’s employment level in the area to 1,300, making it one of the region’s five largest manufacturers, and continue the infusion of capital in the metropolitan area by foreign manufacturers. The amount has exceeded $1.1 billion over five years.

ABB and Thomas & Betts executives were not available Tuesday for interviews.

The $30 million plant will include offices for research engineers to develop product lines. Memphis is now the headquarters for ABB’s low-voltage products business in North and South America.

The new plant will be an ABB factory, rather than named after Thomas & Betts, and will initially employ 200 including about 20 engineers and professionals in the attached research and development office, Hurst said.

ABB also plans to open what it calls a customer experience center to highlight ABB and Thomas & Betts products for customers. The center would train customers and distributors, Hurst said. The site was not identified.

Within five years of the plant’s opening, ABB expects the new facilities will hire another 100 employees, bringing the number of new workers to 300.

ABB is counting on the U.S. market for residential, office and industrial construction to improve and build demand for its products. The new plant will make ABB’s Emax2. The company calls it the world’s first integrated breaker and power manager. The plant also will make breakers, switches, power distribution systems and modular enclosures.

In a statement released by the company, Brian Herington, head of ABB’s low voltage products division in Memphis, says: “We have successfully integrated two organizations now; building on the distribution and marketing strengths of Thomas & Betts and the technology heritage of ABB.”

ABB was created in the 1988 merger of Asea AB, a Swedish electrical products company, and the Swiss engineering firm BBC Brown Boveri AG.

Thomas & Betts, formed in 1898, was moved from New Jersey to Memphis in 1992 after buying Memphis-based American Electric from New York investor Forstmann Little & Co.

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