Jason Nuttle, a junior boarding student from Rogers, Ar., has returned to McCallie from a trip he took to Dubai, where he volunteered as a robotics inspector to several teams competing in an international robotics competition.
Among the teams Jason assisted, with both hardware and software issues they were having, were national teams from Gambia, Vitenam, Togo, Israel, and Uruguay.
Jason sent the following report:
“The competition's theme this year was ocean cleanup, so the teams had to design robots to remove small and large particles from the ocean (the playing field).
"I volunteered as a robot inspector, so all week I helped teams get their robots ready for competition both on the hardware and software side. One hundred and ninety countries had teams represented in the competition, so I was fortunate to be able to meet robot designers from all across the world. Sometimes the teams would have no one who could speak English, but Google Translate and a lot of hand signaling helped out with that.
“I gained much experience through helping these teams with their many mechanisms, drive trains, and processors. Many of these fixes had to be done between the team's matches, so the time factor helped me figure out the right balance between good fixes and quick fixes. Another great part about helping these teams was that I had to explain the repairs to the teams as I worked. This greatly improved my teaching abilities as a robotics mentor. I look forward to applying the lessons and experiences I gained to our own McCallie Robotics team.
"My fellow volunteers were just as interesting as the teams. I met software engineers from Lockhead Martin, optical cable engineers from Utah, and people from many other fields of engineering. It was very valuable to be able to work with these people and receive great advice from them. From their many stories from their respective fields, I have become very excited for my future career in engineering.”