NIST Interschool Tactical Robotics Organization
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Relation to School
Why *COMBAT* Robotics?
  You may ask, why promote violence?  I mean, isn't having two robots completely obliterate each other too violent?  To that, I have to say many sports are even more violent than these RoboWarriors.  You see, these are only machines, and nobody gets hurt if the simple rules are followed.  Fighting robots appeal to many types of people, which is the beauty behind the concept.  It has substance, as well as the all-important "cool factor".  NITRO isn�t your average student-initiated club just for "geeky" (pardon the stereotype) kids.  NITRO is for everybody, and is designed to promote science and technology.  No matter what age level and experience, NITRO can cater to them and allow them to have a good time and learn something.

Why is this a good idea for students?
  We all have different interests.  Our school is very aquedate at catering for students who enjoy doing physical sports such as soccer, rugby, basketball, volleyball... etc.  However, many students find that this is not their main interest.  Building robotic warriors "emphasizes intellect over brawn, craftsmanship over coordination and innovation over physical strength.  Here, mental toughness begets metal toughness, and style, creativity and craftsmanship are as important as winning." (from "Building Bots" by William Gurstelle)  So this club/organization is to cater to the students who feel left out in the sporting scene, but want to compete, win and be recognized, in a different way.
Relation to School
NITRO Meetings
Robot Criteria
Competition Procedure
How To
How does NITRO relate to NIST subjects?
  As I already mentioned, making combat robots will relate to NIST subjects.  A short list is below.

Subject and how it relates to Combat Robotics

Physics: There is a lot of physics involved in the implementation of gears and powertrains.  Students can learn many concepts about electricity and how motors work through work with the electronics.  Many crucial physics concepts are clearly illustrated with real life examples.

Math: Lots of math is involved in the motor data sheets, as well as calculating amperage drawing, wattage, and horsepower.  Many of the force/speed equations involve math and some basic calculus.

Chemistry: The study of different batteries and how they affect performance will inspire an interest in chemistry

Design Technology: The actual creation of the robot will teach students practical skills that will help them in DT.  Their woodwork skills will benefit greatly through this real-life application of DT, as well as reminding that DT is meant to be about creativity and resourcefulness, and more importantly, fun.

Art: The final product is an artistic creation.  An outlet for self expression for the group that created it.  Sometimes, making a crowd-pleasing robot is more important than winning.

How does NITRO relate to the AOIs?
  Being in a school that is steeped in MYP/IB tradition, all successful learning needs to address the AOIs.  Here is a short list explaining how building robots are related to the 5 AOIs.

AOIs and how it relates to Combat Robotics:

ATL (Approaches to Learning) - Building a combat robot incorporates all the ATLs.
- Social skills are used to work with your teammates
- Research skills are needed to create the best design
- Thinking skills are necessary to solve problems that may arise
- Communication skills are important in order to communicate your designs and plans with your team and judges
- Self-management skills and motivation are crucial because these creations will be built out of class time

Homo Faber (Human Creativity) - Technology and building machines are the best example for Homo Faber.  Every invention and creation has a clear path of creation.  In order to create better warrior robots, we need to investigate existing designs.  This allows us to appreciate all the complexities involved.

Environment - All our robots will be made from recycled materials.  Many appliances and electronics that may be harmful to the environment are thrown away when they are no longer suitable for their original applications.  But they are perfect for applications such as small combat robots.  We can help solve the problem of polluting the environment by using rechargeable batteries as well.

Health and Social Education - At first one may think that robotics have nothing to do with health and social education.  But you are wrong.  Robotics and technology play a major role in our lives.  Even more so, being a competition, it allows for more social interaction and positive competition.

Community Service - If our competitions become big enough, (which I hope they will be), we can charge parents and students to watch the finals of later competitions (involving robots that weigh 30kg++).  This money can be used to develop our DT department at school, or be used for charity.
Contact the Organizer
Frank (Tha-An) Lin
[email protected]
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