2007-2008: Overdrive into Action

In its fourth year, MorTorq continued its steady expansion, gaining two new teachers and forging new relationships with mentors. The team attended workshops with mentors from Walt Disney Imagineering and the LAPD Bomb Squad. They took tours of the facilities of Service Machines Inc. as well as the LAPD Bomb Squad. The team’s membership increased so much that it now encompasses three R.O.P. classes. The team also created VEX Team #161 this year to participate in the FIRST Tech Challenge. In its rookie season, Team #161, together with Team Spyder and the RoboTroopers, won the Los Angeles Regional. To get elementary and middle school students excited about robotics and engineering, the team held a robot and roller coaster design competition, with the winners getting a chance to work with the team. MorTorq expanded its outreach by planning two fundraisers to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association, starting a Muscular Dystrophy support group on Facebook, and presenting on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. In accordance with Dean Kamen’s homework of contacting the media, MorTorq contacted and invited several news organizations and networks to the Los Angeles Regional event. To compete in the 2008 game “Overdrive”, the team built a new robot, nicknamed Orange Fever. The robot has a fast 6-wheel drive train and uses a rotating arm and claw mechanism patterned after MorTorq’s 2005 robot. A pneumatic actuator pulls the claw open and closed on the trackball and then a separate pneumatic actuator punches the ball out of the closed claw with the aid of passive rollers to shoot the ball over the overpass.

Awards

  • Safety Award (Denver, CO)
  • Team Spirit Award (Denver, CO)
  • Judges Award (Los Angeles, CA)

2008 Robot: “Orange Fever”

  • Nicknames: ChoBot, The Black Hole
  • Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Height: 59 in.
  • Width: 27 in.
  • Length: 37 in.
  • Drive Train: 6-wheel tank drive
  • FIRST Game: FIRST Overdrive
  • Explanation: The robot was designed to go around a track similar to a NASCAR racecar track while picking up and throwing a 40 in diameter yoga ball over a 6 foot tall overpass.