Father Patrick Mercredi High School

RSports Robotics Group – Fort McMurray


The RSports Robotics team meets twice during weekdays and on Saturdays, and is working on several projects using robotics to solve real-world problems. Their projects are as follows:

1. ) Using robotics to animate stage props for a local theater production – The team constructed animated toys and an expandable cake for a local production of Mary Poppins. The reviews were fantastic!

2.) Using drones to create 3D images from above for media and emergency services – The team has been training and experimenting on three different drone platforms, and is figuring out how to use the auto-track mode to obtain better quality images.

3.) A bear robot decoy to train protection dogs at oil sand sites – Coding for this project is being finalized and the robot is ready for foam and bear cape. The team plans to finish this robot in the next couple of weeks.

4.) Using underwater drones to monitor invasive species in waterways – The team learned to operate their ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) and map its surroundings in a staged pool environment. They continue to practice and prepare for the spring deployment in local waterways, waiting for the spring thaw or an ice dive, pending a safety diver.

5.) Building a football tackle robot to reduce player injury and collect data to inform coaching – The power system for this 300+lbs robot proved to be more challenging than expected. The team had to design a higher amperage system and purchase necessary electrical components.


Project Summary


Our team started as a group of individuals interested in Robotics and Technology. What has held us together and motivated our work is our combined interest and desire to learn and embrace the technology. Most memorable for our team has been the connections we have made in our community, mentorships and partnerships drive most of our work.
Our current projects are multifaceted but essentially it is to solve problems through the use of robotics and its associated technologies.

What has made working on these projects a highlight for us is the response we have received from the community. The support and encouragement has motivated our team to work even harder to achieve relevance and validity.

We have had no shortage of challenges but the greatest has been gaining the necessary technological knowledge and skills to complete our projects. Through professional mentorship and research our team has been able to maintain our project momentum, with just a few unforeseen issues.

When we started our group several years ago we had 4 professional engineers that mentored us. Our community has changed substantially since the fire and currently we have two mentors with the group, one that joined us this season.

Our current projects have a lot of growth potential and are only limited by the technology we can effectively employ within the project. We are still working on the Bear Project and this season should see it completed and deployed over the summer. The Football Tackle dummy project has revealed a level of complexity we were not prepared for. Most of this season was sorting the power and control for this 350 lb+ robot. The team is now gaining some momentum and we are very excited for what the coming months will bring. The juniors in our group had conceptualized the SmartCycle project last season and after the Robotics workshop in Edmonton they went back to the drawing board, rethinking the ultrasonic sensors and limit switch deployment. Further to that, they had to choose a new fabrication material that would not impede the sensors functionality and resolution and protect it from liquid.

Geekstarter has provided hope. We started with very lofty goals to design, build and deploy robotic platforms in an effort to solve real life problems. Geekstarter has helped our group realize that our goals are achievable.