In the last two years, Hamilton students interested in learning about programming, robotics, and other STEM fields have been flocking to the FIRST robotics team to supplement their learning.
The team, also known as The Cyberhawks, quickly grew about five times in size, creating a huge demand for updated materials. Last month, Hyperion Automation became Gold-level sponsors of the team to help provide future engineers, computer programmers and machine builders resources to learn, compete and grow.
“We are very impressed with the Cyberhawks. They are a small team in comparison to some of the large and established FIRST Robotics teams. They are full of talented students working hard to compete while navigating some very complex challenges,” said Hyperion’s vice president, Troy Mohrland. “They have some great mentors dedicating their time, but they also needed support to get materials and equipment for the competition. We are privileged with the opportunity to contribute to a great team!”
Gold Sponsorship Leads to Major Upgrades
The sponsorship helped the team to upgrade their robot from a tank drive to a swerve drive. The new driving system controls each wheel of the robot independently, both in direction and speed. The freedom this system provides will allow the robot to travel in any direction, rotate as it moves, and accelerate extremely quickly. This upgrade will help them to go toe to toe against some of the best FIRST Robotics teams in Michigan.
Mathematics teacher and FIRST Robotics team lead Brent May said, “This partnership has been an important step towards building a robotics program that is able to truly prepare students for careers in automation and engineering fields. Hyperion’s interest in helping our students grow their engineering skills and familiarity with equipment that is used in the industry is going to have a long-lasting impact on our students’ ability to easily transition into jobs after high school.”
While the Hyperion team is thrilled to see the Cyberhawks compete with their new robot, they’re equally excited about the relationships that will come from the partnership. When asked about the impact this will have on students, May said, “Having Hyperion as a partner means that we have access to professionals who really know how large-scale robotics work and how to make a profession out of the passion that many of our team members have.”
Creating a Strong Foundation
FIRST provides a foundation in mechanical and electrical design, coding and programming, vision systems, and various forms of fabrication and assembly. “The number of skills that students gain within the program are invaluable and will give them a major head start in whatever they decide to do after completing high school, including industrial automation,” Mohrland said.
The Cyberhawks are looking forward to competing in the 2023 season with their new swerve drive robot. They will be visiting the Hyperion Automation facility later this year where they will get to see large scale industrial automation in-action.
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