It’s not just about the robot! That is what we always say when someone asks us what our Robotics Program is all about. Of course, we spend a lot of time and energy on the actual process of designing and building a robot, but the real magic is in all of the other areas we work in.
Robotics is about the students. Students learn so many critical skills when involved in the team. One of the largest is how to work together to solve a complicated problem. It takes many kinds of students and mentors to accomplish this. The marketing team raises funds, writes grants, promotes and defines our identity, and makes friends with other teams. The programming team learns from programmers working in the Seattle area and writes code that runs our robot. The electrical team works with an electrical engineer and designs, wires, and installs all of our electronics which control our devices. The build team cuts, welds, grinds and assembles all of the parts of the robot. The CAD team uses 3D software to design our robot parts and 3D printers to prototype. The whole team is involved in the design process.
Through this process, each sub-team must communicate extremely well with each other for the whole project to be successful. This, of course, doesn’t always go smoothly, but that is where the real learning and growth takes place. The coolest part is that when we are done we get to go and compete against other teams to see how well we solved the engineering problem!