Iron Fangs show off robots at San Japan

Ernesto Gomez, Staff Writer

Team members get used to talking to people…outside of the shop…so they can learn presentation skills.”

— Mr. Horwath

Perhaps you have seen the group of students labelled 5986 hauling machinery into the back of a van, or maybe you have heard the commotion pouring from room 275 after school; however, it is no secret that the Iron Fangs are back at it for another year of award winning robotics. To start off the school year, the Central Catholic robotics team presented at San Japan, the largest anime/gaming convention in south Texas. Cosplayers and gamers alike stopped and stared in awe as the bots zoomed across the convention center.

“I had felt ecstatic because I got to talk to people about robotics and how it is very fun to be hands on with many projects,” said senior Darren Elizondo.

The Iron Fangs had presented two of their machines, Lazy Susan and Tokyo. The much larger bot, Lazy Susan, was a competition robot equipped with a rotating elevator atop a lazy susan bearing (hence the name), a game piece grabber, and a ball carrier/tosser. Tokyo, on the other hand, was designed for the purpose of off season testing. Although limited in capabilities, Tokyo stands out for its speed and its mecanum wheels which allow it to move in any direction without the need to rotate, creating a drift-like effect, hence the name Tokyo, referring to the popular movie, “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”.

“Our presentation was only the beginning of a year full of hard work, motivation and a whole lot of cooperation,” said junior Rai Martinez.

The team had presented with FIRST, the operator of the First Robotics Competition, to promote the organization and its events. To grow crowd interest, members used the bots to lure in people of all ages toward the information table. The controllers of Lazy Susan used the 115 pound robot to interact with guests by playing ball and following them as they passed by. As the guests became interested in what most had assumed were “battle bots”, it was the responsibility of each member to speak with them, present the bots, explain the program, and even give some a chance to control Tokyo.

“I have to say I love seeing people get the love of building and creating and designing, and also, I enjoy meeting the other teams,” says robotics coach Mr. Horwath, as to what encourages him to lead robotics.

If you are interested in robotics or have any questions, speak to Mr. Horwath in room 275. Meetings will be held every Tuesday and Wednesday after school. No prior experience or knowledge is required to join. All are welcome.

Ernesto Gomez
Ernesto Gomez
Ernesto Gomez
Ernesto Gomez