Rogue Robots of 4-H

RRCF has sponsored and mentored the Rogue Robots of 4-H robotics program for many years and it has been wonderful to see the team grow and work together so well. 

“In the Fall, our FIRST Lego League middle school team conducted a research project relevant to the annual challenge.  The theme for 2016 was Animal Allies.  In their research they discovered that police dogs only have Kevlar vests to protect them from gunshots, but these vests are quite heavy and don’t protect against knife attacks or rough terrain/hazardous environments, therefore they are not used regularly.  Our team decided to develop a more lightweight vest made with special breathable fabric that protects against these other potential dangers.  They won an award and are currently working with the UNH Innovation Lab to patent and/or establish a business to manufacture the vests.  Very exciting stuff!

From January 2015 to June 2016, our club hosted underserved students in Claremont and Newport within the National Tech Wizards Mentoring Program sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and the National 4-H Foundation.  We added ten new mentors and served a total of about 50 kids.  A few of the mentors and several of the youth remained with the Rogue Robots after the Tech Wizards program ended, while some of them branched off to establish their own 4-H clubs and projects.

Due to increasingly high costs for registration, competitions, and parts, we made the difficult decision to transition our high school robotics program from FIRST to VEX for 2017.  Just like FIRST, VEX is an internationally recognized robotics competition program that offers a new challenge game each year.  However unlike FIRST, a new kit of parts does not have to be purchased every year and registration/competition fees are significantly less, freeing up thousands of dollars to expand all our programs, as well as to afford more than one VEX team and participation in several more competitions.  The other advantage is that the annual VEX challenge runs for the entire year, rather than just six weeks of build and about six weeks of competitions.  This allows for slowing down the design and build process which provides more time for the students to learn and explore robotics, technology and engineering practices.  The robots can also be completely redesigned/rebuilt between competitions if necessary based on performance, better reflecting R&D in real robotics companies.”