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Dublin High School InvenTeam Seeking Community Support to Fund SpORT (Special Olympics Robotic Thrower)

June 7, 2018

DUBLIN, CA–The school year is over but the journey continues for the Dublin High School InvenTeam. Late last year a group of Dublin High School students, led by Engineering Teacher Eugene Chou, successfully pitched their SpORT (Special Olympics Robotic Thrower) machine for an Lemelson-MIT Grant.

The team is seeking additional funding to fulfill their ultimate goal of traveling to MIT this summer to demonstrate their Phase 5 SpORT prototype. Money raised via the GoFundMe campaign will go towards bringing the SpORT machine to hundreds of handicapped students all across the Tri-Valley and enable them to participate in modified basketball and soccer.

TDublin High School Teacher and InvenTeam Advisor Eugene Choueacher Eugene Chou: “Our Dublin High School engineering students have been working hard this year to develop a comprehensive prototype for a machine that will help students participate in basketball and soccer events at the Special Olympics. We were awarded a grant through Lemelson MIT this fall to fund our invention process and now we are trying to raise additional money through GoFundMe to help finish our prototype casing and machined parts. We are traveling to MIT later this month to present our phase 5 prototype to MIT, so you can help us by donating and spreading the word about our need.”

What is SpORT? As described by some of  the students who created the machine (source):

Jeffrey: “SpORT stands for Special Olympics Robotic Thrower. First, a supervisor selects one of the three levels of difficulty based on each student’s capabilities. This restricts the machine’s degree of freedom.”

Gagan: “Next, the student drops a ball into the machine, and it rolls down through a “donut”-shaped compartment. The two flywheels compress the ball, creating more surface contact with it and increasing its initial velocity. The student will use the directional pad buttons to aim and launch the ball. It will be launched into a basketball hoop at the set degree of the mechanism, or launched horizontally for soccer towards three nets.”

Jeffrey: “The machine has pan and tilt motions, so it can move 90 degrees up, down, left, and right.”

Gagan: “The user interface screen displays what the machine is going to do in real-time. So if you press a left button, for example, the screen will show the machine turning left, with a trajectory line to where it’s going to launch either the basketball or the soccer ball. This is a really big part of our design, and makes it unique.”

Dublin High School InvenTeam with Mayor David Haubert

City of Dublin Mayor Haubert with members of the Dublin High School InvenTeam

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