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Piedmont Academy robotics team advances
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The Piedmont Academy Robotics Team came in first place in the robot performance portion of the Georgia BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) Robotics Competition Saturday, Nov. 5. 

The 17-team event was held at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College in Clarkston.  Public, private and home-school teams were represented. 

The theme of the competition was how robotics could be incorporated into farming practices to reduce the need for human labor and to ensure that the quality of the harvest is high.  Piedmont’s robot deposited seeds (golf balls) into holes, grabbed and deposited ears of corn (paint rollers) into a bin and turned a PVC valve that represented opening the flow of water to crop fields.

The team will now advance to the South’s BEST Regional Robotics Championship, hosted by Auburn University.  At this competition will be the top 55 teams from 15 BEST Robotics hubs in five states. South’s BEST will be held Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4.

Piedmont’s competition team members are seniors Maddie Mooneyham and Danny Ramsdell, juniors Kevin Davis and Daniel Respess, freshman Mallory Boyd and seventh-grader Taylor Boyd.  Seniors J. T. Hardin and Nick Maynard assisted with building the robot.  Piedmont Academy staff member George Goodman constructed components of the playing field so that the team could practice performing competition tasks with the robot.  The team’s coach is Ralph Hickman.