On April 16, Panasonic held a competition for New Jersey high school students to compete and design a robot that would perform a mock heart transplant.

High school seniors Hunter Sagerer, Jawad Shafiq, and Fahad Rashid jumped to the task. They made, essentially, “a large claw machine that could pick up objects using a claw-like gripper and move them in any direction,” according to Sagerer.

The Boonton students made this out of wood and hot glue. The results were beyond amazing. They placed third and were recognized by Panasonic and many schools throughout New Jersey.

Afterwards, Sagerer explained “Placing in the challenge was an amazing feeling. We put a lot of time into our design, spending late night and weekends at the high school to get as close to perfection as we could with a robot made of plywood and hot glue. It felt relieving to have recognition for all of the hard work we put it. The experience overall was unlike anything else I’ve had in high school.

“It taught us many different engineering principles but, most importantly, about how to keep designing after something has failed. We created many designs that were no good, and had to keep moving on to a second solution to ensure our robot was done on time.”

With this cycle of continuous trial and error, their struggle was emphasized, but they were able to pull through and it gave them the honorable title of third place and provided Boonton with recognition for its feats.

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