The hallways of Longwood High School in Middle Island echoed with the creaks and clanks of wheels squeaking over linoleum as an unusual looking robot sped toward my camera.
Usually these hallways are filled with shouts, laughter -- the sounds of students hurrying to class. This day, the school belonged to the Longwood Robotics Team and its 4½ foot tall robot.
Building the robot, nicknamed "Some Technical Assembly Required," was a monumental effort, requiring the team to work seven days a week for several months to meet their project deadline. This Wall E-like creation features a moving arm along with a deployable minibot that is launched from its base. Unlike the movie character, it doesn't yearn to communicate.
The Longwood Robotics team is an annual competitor in the FIRST Robotics Competition, an islandwide challenge for high school students to design, program, and build a robot capable of performing specific tasks.
This year, the teams were challenged to build a robot capable of placing objects on a pole of varying heights. Although the task seems simple enough, the two-person control system requires finesse and precision to pull of this feat. The Longwood team was skilled enough to win second place in this year's competition in March at Hofstra University.
As a Longwood Alum, it was a great experience to visit my high school and see that some of the school's best and brightest are succeeding and making a name for themselves on a regional level.
Here's a video for a closer look at the robot and the team of students who brought it to life. For more info on the FIRST Robotics Competition, visit www.usfirst.org/.