Austen Roberson’s preferred class at MIT is 2.S007 (Design and style and Production I-Autonomous Machines), in which students style and design, establish, and plan a absolutely autonomous robot to attain duties laid out on a themed match board.
“The ideal issue about that course is everybody experienced a various thought,” says Roberson. “We all had the exact same sport board and the exact recommendations provided to us, but the robots that arrived out of people’s minds were so different.”
The video game board was Mars-themed, with a design shuttle that could be lifted to score factors. Roberson’s robot, nicknamed Tank Evans immediately after a character from the movie “Surf’s Up,” employed a clever technique to attain this undertaking. Alternatively of spinning the gears that would raise the complete mechanism, Roberson realized a claw gripper could wrap close to the outdoors of the shuttle and carry it manually.
“That was not the meant way,” suggests Roberson, but his exterior-of-the-box approach ending up successful him the levels of competition at the conclusion of the course, which was element of the New Engineering Instruction Transformation (NEET) application. “It was a actually excellent course for me. I get a whole lot of gratification out of setting up some thing with my fingers and then applying my programming and issue-resolving capabilities to make it go.”
Roberson, a senior, is majoring in aerospace engineering with a slight in computer science. As his winning robotic demonstrates, he thrives at the intersection of both equally fields. He references the Mars Curiosity Rover as the type of project that inspires him he even keeps a Lego product of Curiosity on his desk.
“You seriously have to rely on that the hardware you’ve designed is up to the job, but you also have to trust your software similarly as significantly,” states Roberson, referring to the troubles of running a rover from thousands and thousands of miles away. “Is the robotic likely to go on to operate after we have place it into space? Each of those people factors have to occur with each other in this kind of a excellent