On Saturday, May 6th 2023, B-SMART did something unprecedented. Students competed at NHRL (National Havoc Robot League) for the first time, with a delegation of 16 students (the largest of any first-time team), and won a match against a team of experienced adults! This has never happened before, and we extremely proud of the students' accomplishments.
The students faced an incredibly uphill battle on Saturday, especially because when they arrived at the event, they realized that their robot needed to comply with a safety rule that they had not prepared for, so they had to make last-minute changes. But instead of being discouraged, they enthusiastically took on the challenge. Everyone who competed against them came away from the match smiling. The students were sometimes discouraged by losses, but they were always professional about it, and the wins made everything worth it!
There were 4 robots that were able to compete. One of them was creatively named "I Forgot" and was a collaboration between what was originally 2 separate robot teams. The robot was designed by Victoria Cambi, Fabian Baker, Nataly Helmy, and Nicole Uzho, and when it was time to build it, they were helped by Stephan Braithwaite, Duane Foskey, and Josiah James. Led by Coach Michael Schaffer, the students were only provided the materials, the software, the equipment, and some training and advice. The robot was built over 4 months using computer-controlled milling for the plastic parts, and laser-cutting for the aluminum and steel parts.
The students' first participated in fights against "Il Pacino" and "A Dozen Bolts", the first of which they won by knocking out the opponent!
Additionally, the students who built the robot "Black Beans" were featured in an interview that was streamed live: