Florida Students and IKO Linear Guides Shine in Robotics Competition

A team of middle- and high-school students in Gibsonton, Florida are showing off their math and science skills by designing, building and programming a competitive robot using IKO International linear guides. With IKO in their corner, the team is outscoring rivals and setting records along the way.

They call themselves Neutrinos 6433, and the team competes in the FIRST Tech Challenge at a Central Florida tournament held in Lakeland, Florida. FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) inspires innovation and leadership in young people through engaging, team-based robotics challenges. The challenges are designed to demonstrate the accuracy, timing and precision of the robot. For example, one match pitted four robots against each other inside a ring. Competitors were given a task that tested their robots’ ability to maneuver around the ring, and to grasp, arrange and stack Lego-like blocks. You can watch Neutrinos 6433 outperform the competition here.

IKO Guides and Guidance

The Neutrinos 6433 team discovered IKO while researching potential linear motion guides to design into the robot. IKO International sponsored the Neutrinos 6433 team and supplied the linear motion guides that helped lead the robot to victory. IKO was also available to mentor Neutrinos 6433, and the team tackled their challenges with little assistance, using the following IKO motion guides:

  • MX linear motion guide. One of the highest performing and dependable guides available. The MX Series guide features a slide unit that operates on a balanced set of four cylindrical rollers housed in a rigid casing, giving it high load capacity and exceptional stiffness and resistance to moment loads. This construction maximizes accuracy, produces a more compact design than ball-type units, and it gives the robot its streamlined size and excellent maneuverability. The MX Series is available in four different lengths — including an extra-long unit MXL that’s 1.4 times the standard slide unit length — so the students were able to achieve long extensions to stack items with smoothness and precision. The MX Series also offers a high load capacity and C-Lube technology for long-term, maintenance-free operation — because when you’re battling for robotic supremacy, you can’t slow down to lubricate your guide.
  • LWL linear motion rolling guide. The LWL Series incorporates two rows of stainless steel balls arranged in a four-point contact design with the raceways. Although small in size, it provides stable accuracy and rigidity due to its simple design even in operations under fluctuating loads with changing direction and size or complex loads.
  • LWF linear motion rolling guide. This series provides continuous linear motion thanks to a wide track rail and highly rigid slide unit. Two rows of large-diameter steel balls and a four-point contact design with the raceways ensure high stability and accuracy, even under fluctuating and complex loads. The wide rail also supports large moment loads in the axial direction.

The Neutrinos Come Up Big
The results have been impressive! While Neutrinos teams have performed well in their previous eight years in the Challenge, this year’s team made significant gains. Neutrinos 6433 achieved front-runner status, boasting the highest scores and highest average score among the other 20 participating teams. Not only did Neutrinos 6433 produce high scores, they also posted back-to-back world record scores before being eclipsed by another team. As of this writing, Neutrinos 6433 have the highest average score among teams from around the country. That’s no small feat! Thanks to their hard work, skill and determination plus exceptional linear guides from IKO, Neutrinos 6433 is clearly the team to beat.

For more information about IKO International’s linear rolling motion guides, visit the product page.

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