Student-run event gives robots fighting chance

The theater of battle fills with participants and spectators.

Action heats up in the competition cage.

A steady hand on the controller ... and in capturing the contest on cellphone video.

The makings of a winner?

Penn College hosted battles of ingenuity during SWORD Fall Fights 2018 in the Field House. Approximately 45 combat robots, designed and built by Penn College students and members of the public, “fought” in the double-elimination tournament on Nov. 17. About 130 people attended the daylong event, which featured 1- and 3-pound weight classes. “In an event like this, students get to see engineering in action,” said Craig A. Miller, instructor of engineering design technology and adviser to the Student Wildcats of Robotic Design Club, which sponsored the event.  “They design, build and test their robots against other builders.  They see what works and what does not and make design improvements in an effort to make their robots more competitive.”

The crowd presses ever closer for a better look.

The top three finishers for each weight class and the names of their robots were:

3-pound class:
First − Nate Franklin, “Thunder Child”
Second − Ryan Bohenek,  “Scrappy
Third − alumnus Alex Horne, “Wheels are Tasty”

1-pound class:
First − Hunter Yankauskas, “Kit-E-Cat”
Second − Dominic Yankauskas, “Forklift”
Third − Cynthia Yankauskas, “Rainbow Kitty”

Photos by J.J. Boettcher, student photographer

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