On My Own Technology (OMOTEC), a dynamic innovation and research centre, has created history at the much-coveted FIRST Tech Challenge, with three teams mentored and represented by OMOTEC winning all the three top spots in the premier UK championship.
All the three teams — G-Force, Technonerds and Horizon Effect — underwent rigorous mentoring by the coaches of OMOTEC for 11 months, and won the top three ranks in the popular UK championship. Two of the teams – Technoners and G-Force — also participated in the IOWA Championship, and ranked 5th and 12th, respectively, in the Robot game.
The FIRST Tech Challenge or FTC, is a unique programme where students from Grades 9 to 12 are challenged to design, build, programme, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format. It is a STEM-based preferred programme that promotes ‘Thinking, Exploring and actually Executing Mechanical, Electronics, Coding and Design Thinking Skills’.
OMOTEC students have been participating in the FTC for the past three years, and winning as well. This year, OMOTEC participated with three teams, which is a record in itself, of the highest number of teams that has been coached by a single institution.
Nearly 20 teams participated in the UK championship, while 30 teams competed in the IOWA Championship. Teams from USA, Romania, India and UK participated in the FTC.
“FTC is a big game. For robotics enthusiasts, this is the ultimate goal. OMOTEC has been part of the FTC for the last 3 years and all of our teams have been performing really well. Year on year the challenges set by FTC helps young robotics fanatics to learn new things and come up with the best ideas to solve the challenge. Last year’s season for FTC hasn’t been so exciting for the FTC fans across the globe due to the pandemic. It was all a new way of learning and doing things that mattered the most for these young minds at OMOTEC,” OMOTEC Founder Shekhar Jain said.
OMOTEC used international standard tools such as CNC Punching machines, Drill Press, Jigsaw Cordless Drill, and 50-plus hand tools and even imported parts from the US to build unique and efficient mechanisms.
With the guidance of experienced mentors, OMOTEC students built three BOTs with three different types of chassis such as Belt Drive Chassis, West Coast Chassis and Gear Drive Chassis. Every BOT was equipped with its own unique mechanism and performed well against all the other international teams, and scored remarkable points during their virtual matches. Encoders, Turntable, Shooter, Grabber, Intake were the main mechanisms required to solve current-year challenges.
Jain noted that during the entire process of the FTC, students not only learn how to build a BOT, but also pick up qualities like team-building, management, designing, creativity, innovation, mechanical construction, ideas integration, documentation, presentation.
During the months of training, students learn various manufacturing operations like Cutting, Drilling, Shaping, Milling, Turning, Threading, along with motion transmission features like gears –spur, bevel, worm, pulleys, sprockets, chains, belts, bearings, bearing blocks, flanges, housing, machine blocks, supports, trusses, types of tyres, treads, traction, among others. They are also trained in transmission mechanisms like linear motion, rotary, change of axes, accelerated motion, brakes, clutches, gear boxes, etc, and types of drives/or chassis including geared drives, planetary geared drive, single stage, multi stage, reduction drives, torque v/s speed. They also learn the mechanisms for chassis like driving, grabbing, collecting, shooting, delivery, lifting, winching, raising and hoisting.
Some of the skills acquired in the training period are:
• Mechanical Construction – Machines Automation, Robotics
• 3D CAD Modeling – Solidworks, PTC Creo, Fusion 360
• Electronics – Motor Drivers, Sensors
• Coding- Android Studio, On-Bot Java
• Community Outreach
• Engineering Notebook