CHAOS ready with this year’s robot

Published 6:56 am Tuesday, February 11, 2014

READY TO UNVEIL: CHAOS robotics team members shield their latest creation from view as it launches a medicine ball at a goal similar to the one the robot will have to toss balls through during its competitions.  Photo by Will Sullivan

READY TO UNVEIL: CHAOS robotics team members shield their latest creation from view as it launches a medicine ball at a goal similar to the one the robot will have to toss balls through during its competitions.
Photo by Will Sullivan

Pearl River County’s CHAOS robotics team plans to unveil its latest creation for competition in the For Inspiration in Science and Technology program on Saturday.

The team is doing its final tweaking to both the mechanics and computer programs as the date for its first competition in Orlando, Fla., draws near. The team travels there next month.

CHAOS, which has placed high in regional and national competition and gone all the way to international competition in recent years, has been taking part in the FIRST program since 2002. Now, there is a FIRST Lego robotics team at Nicholson Elementary School, that has sent some of its “graduates” to the CHAOS team.

CHAOS sponsor and faculty advisor Maureen Pollitz pointed out two of the Lego team’s former participants that are on this year’s county team, Mark Lineske and Olivia Seguri, at CHAOS team’s work session and practice on Saturday.

“We also have drawn several members from the science camp we hold during the summer,” Pollitz said.

Getting to the unveiling point this year has been a struggle for the team with nearly a week lost to the severe winter weather that closed local schools for three days, she said.

“The ice storm put us back, but these students have stayed late — to 9 or 9:30 — every night this week. And we’ll be working hard all next week” to get prepared for the open house and robot unveiling, Pollitz said.

“We’re going to debut the robot at our open house,” said team member James Walerius, a PMHS junior. “We’ll demonstrate the game to the community and we especially want our sponsors to come because this year, they have been especially helpful to us.”

Pollitz said she and the team are particularly grateful to the team’s sponsors and especially want them to come to the open house in the Community FEMA Safe Room on the PMHS campus this Saturday.

The open house begins at 3 p.m. and the team will demonstrate the new robot and run it through the tasks it will have to accomplish at the initial competitions in Orlando, Fla., in March at the Bayou Regional at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, La., in April. The competitions are open to the public.