How do you get children enthusiastic about Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math?
Easy, let them build competitive robots!
That’s what we do at team Rembrandts. Located in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, the team is consisting of students from the Fontys University of Applied Science, Zwijsen College and Heerbeeck College. As one of the international teams of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) the Rembrandts have to design, build and program a human sized robot within 6 weeks for an annual changing challenge.
Every January the American organisation FIRST launches the new game animation to all the 3500 teams around the world. Within a short timespan the students have to come up with a competitive robot that can play the presented game. This year’s game is called Power Up and requires robots to collect yellow “power cubes” and place those in both in a high and low hanging scale on the field. The goal is to let the scale tip to you teams side in order to earn points.
During the development of the robot 3D printing is a very helpful tool to rapidly prototype all kinds of parts. From simple sensor brackets and pulleys to complete hinging mechanism for function test. We even started experimenting on using 3D printed parts as replacement for machined bearing blocks at very essential mechanisms in the robot. By printing these parts we save on our budget and reduce development time from 4 weeks to a few hours. The final result after the building season is a robot named Metric.
After the so called building season is over, the robot is placed in a large bag and sealed until competition day. In order to compete our team has to travel to America, where the qualification tournaments are held. So together with the robot a delegation of 30 students travels to Florida to compete at two tournaments in order to try and qualify for the world championship.
During these events, hundreds of people walk through the pit area, This is the area where the teams present their robots and prepare for their games.
Especially the kids get really excited when they see the robot and can interact with the team.
For us that is where we are the most proud of and we hope to ignite the same passion for engineering as we have.
Thanks to the generous partnership with Innofil3D we can maintain that fire when we give them one of our custom designed Orange 3D printed key chain giveaways in the shape of our logo. We hope that whenever they look at it again, they will feel the same excitement as the day visiting the Rembrandts from the Netherlands.
Guest post by team Rembrandts