Buoyed by All-Fill’s Mentorship, Local Robotics Team Advances to Championship Event in Houston

Downingtown Area Robotics
Image via Downingtown Area Robotics.
All-Fill logo

A local robotics team that has benefited from mentorship provided by Exton-based All-Fill will travel to Houston next month to compete in the 2023 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Championship.

The RoboCorns — who represent Downingtown Area Robotics (DAR), a nonprofit that nourishes the minds and nurtures the creativity of K-12 students by teaching kids STEM and leadership skills — advanced to the four-day competition from April 19-22 after their successful showing at the Pennsylvania FTC (FIRST Tech Challenge) Championship. The state-level event, held earlier this month at Saucon Valley Middle School, challenged the RoboCorns to design, build, and program a robot to play a floor game against other teams’ creations.

Their robot earned an Inspire Award, with its telescopic tube lift garnering an Innovate Award.

Chad Martin, an Engineering Manager at All-Fill, which manufactures packaging machinery, served as the team’s mentor.

“During the early part of their season, I stopped by for a visit, and they asked me to sit in on their design review,” said Martin. “They had already come up with an innovative proof of concept, but were trying to understand how they could integrate it into their existing bot.”

He took the metaphorical approach of teaching a person to fish.

“I walked them through how my engineering team and I approach similar problems,” said Martin. “This included explaining some material properties and how they can leverage advanced CAD features for simulation.”

Martin and All-Fill later assisted the RoboCorns with manufacturing some components that were a critical part in the design.

“Their telescopic design was a pretty big challenge for them this season because their bot needed to place an object on a post that is over twice as tall as maximum height at check-in for the bot,” he said. “This presented a balance, speed, and size problem for the team.”

The design was critical to the RoboCorns’ ability to rapidly score points at competitions throughout their season.

All-Fill supports local, tech-minded groups and individuals like the RoboCorns who are interested in learning more about the numerous opportunities within manufacturing. Learn more about All-Fill.

The RoboCorns are comprised of the following nine members who have been working together for more than seven years:

  • Lasya Tirumamidi, Captain, Outreach & Engineering Portfolio Lead
  • Aditya Bhosale, Captain
  • Brighton Risch, Programming Lead
  • Dylan Sward, CAD Lead
  • Amanda Mengle, Outreach & Engineering Notebook Lead
  • Cooper Risch, Build & Safety Lead
  • Saharsha Navani, Drive Team Coach
  • Celia Apostolico, Design/Build Team
  • Samantha Mallon, Design/Build Team

“We really appreciate Mr. Martin’s guidance and support for our team,” said Tirumamidi. “He also participated in FIRST Tech Challenge in high school, which gave him a unique perspective on our robot and the challenge. We truly could not have done it without him!”

The team is currently seeking sponsorships to cover the cost of traveling and competing in the 2023 FIRST Championship. Learn more about the RoboCorns and Downingtown Area Robotics.

Learn more about All-Fill.

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