Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 12, 2013.

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We are Davidson RobotEx, a high school robotics team competing in the BEST Robotics competition held throughout the nation.

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Within 12 hours, we have reached our goal, and we are very grateful for all the generous donations!

However, we want to make clear that you can continue to support our team by donating and sharing our KickStarter for the next 29 days!

We will post weekly updates to let our wonderful backers know exactly what the team is working on!

A heart-felt thank you,

Davidson RobotEx

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What is BEST Robotics?

BEST Robotics is a volunteer-led nationwide competition in which middle and high school teams are given forty-two days to construct a robot designed to perform a specific task.

Here is a video with an overview of a BEST competition:

BEST Robotics is divided into three regional competitions and over 50 hubs across the nation. BEST Robotics strives to engage and excite students about engineering, science, and technology as well as to inspire them to pursue future vocations in these fields.

If you'd like to find more about BEST Robotics, please visit their website:                http://best.eng.auburn.edu

How does the competition work?

Kick off day begins the robotics season. On this day, the game is revealed and teams are given their materials kits. For the next six weeks, teams not only design and construct a robot, but also prepare a marketing presentation and table display to "sell" the robot. In addition, teams are required to document the design process of the robot in an engineering notebook. 

On competition day, teams are judged in all categories mentioned above. Additionally, points are given for spirit and sportsmanship, t-shirt, and CAD notebook (SolidWorks). Awards are given to the top teams in each category, and the BEST award is given to the highest ranking team in all categories at the competition. The top teams from each hub are then invited to the regional competition, where the process is repeated.

What is Davidson RobotEx?

Davidson RobotEx is a high school robotics team from WP Davidson High School, in Mobile, Alabama. Our team is comprised of 40 students ranging from grades 9 - 12, and we are aided by a team of three teachers and various parent mentors. 

We have competed in BEST Robotics for the last eight years, and our recent successes include winning the BEST award at the South's BEST Regional Competition. In addition, we have won the local BEST award for the past three years and we aim to continue our successes in the upcoming years. 

Here is the 2012 Davidson RobotEx team after winning the local competition!
Here is the 2012 Davidson RobotEx team after winning the local competition!

How does one become the BEST?

Since the founding of RobotEx, we have striven to follow the principles of the modern day engineer by using techniques such as the engineering design process and modular engineering. Before any tools are used, the team divides into subgroups in order to tackle specific tasks. For example, the construction team conducts numerous brainstorming sessions, where it develops a strategy for the year's game, discuss possible design solutions, and democratically select the best idea using methods such as a Pugh chart. Once fully envisioned, the robot is modeled in the CAD software, SolidWorks, where it is put through various physics related tests (such as motion and stress-analysis tests) in order to ensure robustness on the field. 

Stress Analysis Test and Claw Design Pugh Chart
Stress Analysis Test and Claw Design Pugh Chart

Once fully modeled in SolidWorks, the robot is prototyped until functional. After this, paint and decals are applied to the robot in order to enhance its aesthetic appeal. 

One of these is real, one is SolidWorks.. Can you tell the difference?
One of these is real, one is SolidWorks.. Can you tell the difference?

Building the robot is just half the battle. Our marketing team works side-by-side with the construction team to create an informative and visually pleasing exhibit booth to display our robot and the process to create it. Also, the marketing team prepares a marketing presentation which is exhibited to a panel of judges. Further, the marketing team is responsible for creating items that boost our teams spirit and morale such as shakers and banners. Finally, the marketing team documents the robot design process in an engineering notebook.

Here is our team cheering in the stands at local competition!
Here is our team cheering in the stands at local competition!

Why KickStarter?

Good question!

In past years, our team has struggled with a small budget. For example, to make the trip to the regional competition, a tour bus, hotels, and meals are required. For the past couple years, this money has come from generous donations from the family and friends of team members. Instead of solely relying on the kindness of the people around us, we would like to incorporate a new funding method. KickStarter is the perfect tool to accomplish this.

What exactly is your money going towards?

After 8 years of competing, our tools are no longer in prime condition and subsequently our work is slowly degrading. We would love to buy new tools to enhance the quality of our work.

As previously stated, traveling to regional competition is very expensive. Because of this, some of the funds acquired in this campaign would go towards travel expenses.

For the past few competitions, our marketing booth has been constructed of materials recycled from past years. Funds would be allocated towards purchasing new material for the construction of the table display.

We rely solely upon our parent volunteers to provide meals during our Saturday team meetings. While the mamas cook wonderful food, we would love to give them a break occasionally and purchase food instead.

By giving funds to the RobotEx team, you would not only be enriching our experiences, but you would also help forge tomorrow's engineers.

A heart-felt thank you,

Davidson's RobotEx Team

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

While winning the local tournament and advancing to the regional tournament is our goal, there is a chance that other teams could out perform us at the local level. If our season is shortened, we will save the funds raised and use them to come back with a vengeance in 2014.

FAQ

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    2 backers

    You will receive our eternal gratitude and also a sponsor name on our team's website.

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    You will receive a high resolution digital RobotEx team photo.

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    You will receive all previous rewards and a sponsor name in our team video which is displayed at the competition in front of thousands of spectators.

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    You will receive one all previous rewards and a Davidson RobotEx team t-shirt.

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    You will receive all previous rewards and a 3D printed RobotEx keychain.

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    You will receive all previous rewards and a framed high resolution photo signed by the members of RobotEx.

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    You will receive all previous rewards as well as a 3D printed miniature model of this year's robot.

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    You will receive all previous rewards as well as your name or your company's name on the team t-shirt.

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    2 backers Limited (2 left of 4)

    This is a special reward in which you will receive all previous non-limited rewards, as well as the opportunity to become an honorary member of the Davidson team during our local competition. You will have a reserved seat in the Davidson stands and be shown around the stadium. You will also go on an exclusive tour into the pit where you will be able to see every team's robot up close.

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    Thank you so much! In addition to all previous rewards, excluding the $251 reward, you will be granted the exclusive right to name the 2013 Davidson High School robot.

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    You are great! You will receive all previous rewards, excluding the $500 reward, as well as a larger 3D printed model of our robot made of higher quality plastic.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    This is the big one! You will receive all rewards, excluding the $500 reward, including a trip to the pit with the drivers, an invitation to become an honorary team member at the local, (and regional if we advance) competitions, and a 24K gold plated figure of this year's robot! Your name will go down in RobotEx history and a special plaque will hang in our lab in your honor!

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Funding period

- (30 days)