In preparation for an upcoming battle, the Metter Elementary Lego Robotics team worked with local entities Better Fresh Farms and the UGA Agricultural Extension Agency to come up with an app idea to showcase at the first regional Lego League tournament. December 11.
Each year, part of the competition is to participate in a team project that benefits the community. This year’s theme is “transportation,” which led the team to focus on agriculture, as it is one of Candler County’s major commodities transported out of the county.
The team met Grant Anderson of Better Fresh Farms, one of the state’s only hydroponic farms. Anderson spoke about her predicament of getting her products into the hands of the citizens of the county without a storefront and how much of her time is spent delivering her products to restaurants up to 150 miles away. . He said he needed a better way to deliver locally and efficiently.
“The kids started to work on a possible solution to this problem. They wanted to design a system that would allow farmers to easily sell their produce to residents of the county where their produce is grown, ”said Miranda Thigpen, head coach of MES Robotics. “They created an idea for the ‘From our farm to your table’ app. In this app, customers can buy their vegetables and pay digitally.
“They then created the Veggiebot for delivery and the Green Machine trailer for pickup,” Thigpen said.
The Veggiebot would focus on deliveries within city limits. The farmer would prepare the order, enter the customer’s address, and the Veggiebot would travel via the sidewalk to the customer’s home. The customer would then scan a QR code received through the app to get their order.
All transactions would be monitored by security sequences and the robots would be powered by solar energy to be more energy efficient.
The green machine is focusing on the pickup option. This is a refrigerated transport trailer, which the team theorized might have added compartments. The compartment number and QR code to open the trailer would be sent through the app to the customer to pick up their order under video surveillance.
While the collaborative project is only a concept at the moment, the team learned a lot from Grant Anderson of Better Fresh Farms and Ross Greene of the UGA Agriculture Extension Agency about what it means to work for the community. and how the farming business affects Candler County.
“Community projects allow our students to explore and learn more about our community and the amazing men and women who work every day to make Candler County a great place to work, go to school and live, ”said head coach Thigpen.
“These projects allow students to develop real-world skills while identifying problems and working collaboratively to develop realistic solutions. These opportunities also allow students to connect with each other, with their communities, and see the impact they can have as citizens of Candler County, ”she said.
Thigpen added, “It’s amazing how creative 9 and 10 year olds can be. Many of these students don’t start the program as friends, but I love to see their friendships grow as they learn together. I want to encourage these students to see the difference they can make in our community and in our world. Projects like this help them gain self-confidence and apply as future leaders in our community.