Robotics team comes to Snake River Library

THOMAS — Books and robots. What could be more fun?
The Live Wire Robotics team read books and showed off two robots to summer readers at the Snake River School/Community Library Wednesday.
“We are hoping to host a Lego robotic camp at the Snake River Library later this summer,” said Live Wire Robotics member Dirk Stahlecker. A date is yet to be set.
Stahlecker will be a sophomore at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., this fall. “I’m sure my participation with robotics was instrumental in my getting a scholarship to MIT,” he said.
Stahlecker is majoring in computer programming. “I learned two different
[computer] languages this [school] year,” he said. The languages are C++ and Labview.
Live Wire member and brother, Kip Stahlecker, read the two books he has authored to the summer readers. The books are “To the Top,” a book about perseverance, and “In Balance,” a book about teamwork.
“The books are about what we went through to build our computers,” Kip said. Kip is a junior at Century High School in Pocatello. Each January, robotics teams around the world receive specifics on what this year’s robot is required to do. Each team has six weeks to build a robot to
those specifications.
After six weeks, the robot creations are wrapped in plastic, said Dirk. “We then wait for competition to begin.” Fifty regional competitions take place around the world, he said. Teams qualify for international competition from the regional events. Robotics competitions take place in March and April.
Two years ago, the Live Wire team constructed a mini-bot that climbed up
a nine-foot pole in about seven seconds, Kip said. This year’s robot, named Phoenix, can throw frisbees and lift itself one foot off the ground.
The registration number of the Live Wire team is 3562 because the team
was the 3,462nd team in the world to register for the robotics competition. Eight members and nine mentors were on the Live Wire Robotics team last year. The team is hoping 15 people join the 2014 team.
Live Wire Robotics is associated with 4-H and ISU. Grants and scholarships are listed on the Live Wire Robotics website at