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2020 Outbreak
Infection within the human body begins to spread at the cellular level. Infected cells spread disease to neighboring cells rapidly, which then spread the disease to their neighboring cells, and so on as the infection grows to take over the body. BEST Robotics is experimenting with the use of micro-robotics to isolate infected cells from others and apply localized vaccines to slow or stop the spread. Robots that can operate at this level quickly and efficiently will prove invaluable to the medical world. Micro-robots directed by medical professionals should be capable of sampling, identifying, and separating individual cells to isolate the infected areas, as well as applying the vaccines where needed to immunize groups of cells. Self-directed robots that can operate on their own without direction from a medical professional to collect cell samples for testing are also highly desired.
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The robot we designed for this competition is called Phage.  This article from Encyclopedia Britannica will help you understand why.  The birth of phage started with a live-action recreation of the game using the most complex robot of all - humans.  We played the game pushing a team member around a full size mock-up of the arena so we could truly figure out the game strategy and prioritize what functions we wanted to include in our design.  In addition to the whole game being virtual, part of our team, including some of our leaders were operating remotely from home.  As a result we relied heavily on technology this year!  We used Google Jamboard as a way to virtually collaborate and sketch out all of our brainstorming ideas.  From there, the prototyping included a mix of traditional cardboard and duct tape along with some CAD sketches.  Based on those prototypes we tested each idea against our go/no-go criteria, production feasibility, and then evaluated the potential performance benefits in comparison to each other.  The chosen prototypes went from conceptual design to detailed design and hopefully later into real production. The drawings below as well as the animation above were generated from the detailed CAD model produced using Autodesk Fusion360.

Our Results:
  • Denton County Hub:
    • ​Texas UIL State Qualifier
    • 2nd Place B.E.S.T. Award​
    • 2nd Place Driving Performance
    • 2nd Place Autonomous Driving
    • 1st Place Marketing Presentation
    • 1st Place Engineering Design Review
  • Texas UIL State Championship: B.E.S.T. Division:
    • 5th Place Overall
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