Sharon Robotics team earns patent for competition design - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Sharon Robotics team earns patent for competition design

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When you hear the word "robotics," you have a certain image that comes to mind. In Sharon, the Tiger Techs are expanding the possibilities. 

They're sending two teams to an international competition in California next week and maybe making the world a better place in the process.

For the third year in a row, the Sharon Tiger Techs robotics team is heading to an international competition. This time qualifying with two teams, solving a water-based problem in the First Lego League.

"The theme for the teams was around hydrodynamics, which is with water," said Tiger Techs coach Dave Tomko.

Building robots is only part of the equation. Both teams also came up with a way to make a difference. The first team took advice from a firefighter and ran with it.

"Fire hose technology hasn't changed in years and we could use something new in the industry," said 9th grader Lucas D'Angelo.

"They decided to put lights on the outside of a fire hose so it would illuminate the hose as they're inside the building and they can find their way out. And if there's a problem, they can indicate that for other firefighters on the outside," said Tomko.

"We took it to a smokehouse at the Hermitage Fire Department and we actually took the hose in and lit up the lights and they really liked the idea," said D'Angelo.

Team number two focused more on water conservation, coming up with a device to keep track of what you're using in the shower.

"It's about 22.5 gallons for a person in a shower and usually they take like eight to nine minutes in the shower," said 7th grader Abbey Baron. "It's mostly to make people aware of how much water they're using in the shower because most people don't know. It's also to help them save money and help save water as well."

"You have a temperature gauge, so it tells you how hot the water was when you took it and it also tells you how much you spent and how much you saved," said 7th grader Ben Pollock.

But these ideas go well beyond just the competition. For the fire hose, for example, they applied for and received their own patent.

"There are other things out there, but they don't work as well as you would think. It's really cool to think that we came up with a working idea," said 9th grader Emma Barborak.

Ideas, they've been working on since September. Learning far more than just how to build a robot.

"Those are just skills that you just use in everyday life and problem-solving that they can take the engineering design process and use it with any problem in life," said Tomko.

So while next week's competition's the end of this project, it's also a launching point for what's to come for some of the brightest young minds in Sharon.
 

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