Robotics Update From The Playing Field

Building autonomous systems with 3D printers.


For those competitive folks out there – which is probably everyone – here is an update on the eSilicon-sponsored robot I spoke of last month. I’m happy to report that our team finished fourth in a field of 24. As of now, they have a good chance of making it to the state-level competition. On top of an already outstanding weekend, our team won the Industrial Safety Award last weekend as well as the Excellence in Engineering Award for their innovative robot design and creative use of 3D printed parts.

I wish I could say that eSilicon’s engineering excellence contributed to our team’s success. The fact of the matter is we financed a small part of their effort and then just got out of their way and watched them excel. These are high school kids building autonomous robots with a 3D printer. If I told you this would be happening 10 years ago, everyone would laugh — yet here we are.

This is a well-run, very large competition. There are a lot of kids out there designing and building hardware to compete in this contest. It says to me there’s hope to keep scientific curiosity and innovation alive in this country. As I’ve mentioned previously, the Maker Movement is another barometer of innovative force in our community. The force is getting stronger. The Bay Area Maker Faire is coming up in late May. If you haven’t attended one of these events, I highly recommend it. You can find details about the show here.

I could go into more details about the eSilicon-sponsored robot, but a few photos actually tell the story well. Enjoy.

Figure 1

Figure 5

Figure 7