The Newport News Police Department is partnering with Newport News Public Schools robotics students to build a remote-controlled moving target.
The target will be installed at NNPD’s training range. NNPD Sgt. Bradley Churchill said he thought of the idea for the target when he was looking for ways to create life-like training scenarios.
“I’m always looking for opportunities to make training more realistic,” Sgt. Churchill said.
Sgt. Churchill will be working with teams from Hines Middle School and Heritage High School. He recently met with the Heritage students and said he was impressed by their ideas and robotics knowledge.
“This is all new to me, but they’re blowing me away,” Sgt. Churchill said.
Heritage High School engineering teacher and robotics coach Olimpia Stein said that many of the students in the after-school robotics program are on the Engineering and Technology career pathway. She said she’s excited about the project because it provides students with a real-world application for robotics. “It’s more than just creating a robot for a game,” she said.
The robotics teams build robots and compete with other teams during the school year. Ms. Stein said the students and mentors will collaborate to design and build a prototype by early September, before the FIRST Robotics season starts.
The Hines team will work on the target system, while the Heritage team will take care of the drivetrain and the control system.
“We’re currently working on the design requirements and will share with Sgt. Churchill soon,” she said. “We aim for reliability at low cost.”