Keep reading to learn how an Inventionland Creationeer played a pivotal part in the 2016 National Robotics League (NRL) competition winnings!  

The 2016 (NRL) Competition took place at the California University of Pennsylvania Friday, May 20th through Saturday May 21st.

So, what’s NRL anyways? The National Robotics League (NRL) is a “manufacturing workforce development program of the National Tooling & Machining Association (NTMA) where students design and build remote controlled robots (bots) to face-off in a gladiator-style competition.”

As part of this competition, the students are able to exercise their creativity and put on their innovative thinking caps as they design, build and then compete with their hand-made bots!

The practical implementation of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is apparent in this competition as these skills are essential for manufacturing.

Saturday, May 21st was the main event. On this day, the itinerary was chock-full of activities starting with the opening ceremonies, followed by the competition and then the awards ceremony.

It’s the latter that leads us to Inventionland’s participation in the 2016 NRL Competition. As a sponsor of the awards event, our very own Inventionland Creationeer Michael, also known as “Spicy,” was the man behind the hardware, creating trophies from scratch for the awards ceremony.

NRL Competition - InventionlandNRL Competition - Inventionland

“It was a lot of work, but well worth the results,” said Spicy, who brainstormed how to accomplish creating one giant trophy, in particular.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies were a no-brainer for Spicy, who has created smaller trophies before for similar events. But, the grand prize trophy would prove to be a larger task.

“I took the original trophy’s’ dimensions and basically increased it by 75 percent, which is how I got the sizing that I needed. I’ve made big trophies before, but this was probably by far the heaviest one,” said Spicy who noted the grand prize trophy weighed in at exactly 57 lbs.

Welding, laser cutting and plasma cutting all went into creating the monstrous trophy. But, Spicy couldn’t give himself all the credit.

“[Fellow Creationeer] Trevor was instrumental in adding the acrylic parts to it,” said Spicy, making note of the mirrored acrylic on the front of the grand prize trophy. “That’s not the easiest thing to do, so that was really important. It turned out a lot better than I initially thought it would.”

NRL Competition - Inventionland

Spicy traveled to the event over the weekend to see the trophies on display and check out the competition.

“It was my first time there,” said Spicy. “It was pretty epic! The bots really did launch other bots in the air; it was great. It’s a true battle between two bots.”

While he was excited over the bots, Spicy may have been more excited to see his trophy creations.

“While I was in the stands, they mentioned how Inventionland made these beautiful trophies and then they pointed out that it was me; they actually thanked me, which was pretty cool. It was actually kind of fun just to see my trophies there – that’s my creation! And to see how people reacted to it was kind of cool. I saw people actually walk up and touch it.”

So, what did Spicy think of the event?

“It was a long competition and you really see the dedication all of [the competitors] have. They have a lot of dedication to what they’re doing and that’s really cool. The students are really into it,” said Spicy.

Spicy showed a similar dedication in creating the trophies for the event and checking out the competition. However, there’s one thing he and his brother, who attended the event with him, wished they would have seen…

“I brought my brother with me to the event and he might have been more disappointed than I was that he didn’t get to see people try to lift the [grand prize] trophy up!” said Spicy.

Spicy had the opportunity to see the grand prize winners from Pine Richland High School pick up the trophy when they come to Inventionland for a tour and trophy presentation by Founder and CEO Mr. George Davison in Inventalot Castle. Check back Monday for a sneak peak at their experience!

For now, here’s a closer look at Spicy’s work!

NRL Competition - Inventionland

Copyright Inventionland, 2016