Southland Robotic Team builds new tool for Cedar River Golf Course

Southland robotics creates a handy golf course tool

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(ABC 6 News) – The Southland Robotics Team is renowned for all the competitions they have won. But over the past year, students have been taking on a whole new adventure.

With so many awards, they have built quite the reputation. Mike Schneider, the president of Cedar River Golf Course Adams, is one of many who recognize their talents.

Schneider reached out to them to make something for their golf course. “We decided that we needed a striper, so we brought that to the robotics program and asked them if they would be interested in making one for us.”

A striper is a machine that marks a golf ball with a red stripe. The red stripe signals that the ball is meant to be used only at the range rather than on the actual course. The course has retirees who would volunteer to use the machine. It was just a matter of getting the machine first.

This was a task that the robotics team was more than willing to take on, with seniors Jack Bruggeman and Cody Krull echoing that sentiment.

“For them to actually reach out to us meant that they were actually thinking of us,” said Bruggerman.

Krull added “It showed they had trust in us that we could put out a project that would last” The goal was to create a striper that could stripe quickly.

“We basically wanted to mass produce striped balls and to have a consistent stripe on every single one without having to touch the machine,” said Bruggerman

The project got off to a slow start due to the original plan to use woodwork, but the wood shop was on the other side of the school from the team’s workspace.

In addition, wood couldn’t giving them the precision needed. That’s when robotics coach Paula Mortenson reached out for help.

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She was able to get a grant from the Southland Education Foundation to secure 3D printers that helped create the on-ramp, the funnel, and the paint bucket.

“Once the southland education foundation had granted us the money to allow us to purchase 3-D printers, then it was game on.”

After a year of hard work and dedication, the machine was presented to Schneider and the golf course.

The student-made striper is cheaper compared to new ones, but it also gives the team a sense of accomplishment.

In addition to creating the initial machine, the school will be able to create and order parts depending on which ones are damaged or broken. A custom box was also created to help transport the machine and keep it protected.

Schneider recognized how accomplished the students would feel, and it was a core reason he reached out in the first place. “To give those kids an opportunity to use their talents in designing and building something like this. It’s really a good thing; we’re glad to be part of it.”

Mortenson could not be more proud. “These students are champions, and we are so excited for what they’re going to do in the world.”

Speaking of world, that is what the Southland Robotics Team will be getting prepared to do next. They will compete against teams all across the world, hoping to add to their trophy case. That competition is in Dallas, Texas at the end of the month.