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Robo-power; Valley Tech team piques national interest.

UPTON - The Team 61 Robotics Team at Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School placed second and received high marks for its innovative PTO system at the BAE Regional Tournament FIRST robotics competition held earlier this month at the Verizon Center in Manchester, N.H.

The team's PTO transmission, which refers to Power Transfer Option, operates the drive shaft of the robot. In May 2012, the team researched several options for creating its own version and decided it was most viable to have the students design and build one themselves. Once a concept was developed that was viable to produce, the Robotics Team worked with Drafting & Engineering Technology students to bring the idea to its final stage.

What makes this particular PTO transmission unique is its ability to take power from four motors and transfer it to the arm drive to control the system. All components are encased with aluminum plates to form a gear box with two motors that support multiple shafts, a right PTO for the right drive train and a left PTO for the left drive train. Several robotics companies, including AndyMark.com, expressed interest in purchasing the technology for exclusive distribution, which would provide national exposure for Valley Tech and its Robotics Team. The team is scheduled to compete again on May 17 and 18 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester.

"While exhibiting incredible teamwork, integrity and all around excellence, our second-place win was an all-school effort," said Electronics/Engineering Department Team Leader Michael Norton. "Having our PTO transmission receive such attention demonstrates the importance of integrating engineering into Valley Tech's curriculum. Thanks go out to everyone who contributed their time, talent and support in this success."

Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge. Located in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, Blackstone Valley Tech works toward enhancing the economic, social, and historic strengths of the region by providing integrated academic and vocational technical skills, empowering students to achieve world-class educational excellence, diverse career opportunities, and individual success in an ever-changing global society all in a safe learning environment. The school's website is www.valleytech.k12.ma.us.

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CUTLINE: The Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School robotics team at the BAE Regional Tournament FIRST robotics competition at the Verizon Center in Manchester, N.H.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 29, 2013
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