Tag Archives: Chris Willingham

Learning and Designing

Team Duct Tape members got down to some serious design work last weekend, and with a combination of rudimentary CAD and white board sketches, got a drive train solution and some other ideas under way.  They also got in a great visit to the Jamie Cunningham’s Backyard Workshop – exactly what it sounds like, but in the front yard!

Team members enjoyed seeing Mr. Cunningham’s great homemade 3D printer, learning about aluminum sand casting (awesome!) , and seeing his (also homemade!) CNC machine in action, cutting out a big foam letter “T” for Learning is for Everyone‘s upcoming TEDxYouth@TampaBay event.  Mr. Cunningham’s resourcefulness and creative approaches to engineering problem solving were both fun and inspiring!

Team members also got in some Robot C tutoring with mentor and TDT grad, Chris Willingham.

It was a pretty full meeting, and there’s another one coming up tomorrow, with our build finally underway, and our ring order finally in, so we can properly test prototypes.

TDT 5.0 may be mostly new to FIRST Tech Challenge, but they’re proving completely up to the challenge of a quality robot build, in the finest Team Duct Tape tradition!


TDT @ coolTECH, Friday June 4

cooltech Team Duct Tape will host an exhibit booth at coolTECH 2010 on June 4, at MOSI, the Tampa Museum of Science and Industry at 4801 East Fowler Avenue . 


Now in its third year, coolTECH annually showcases breakthrough technologies and cutting-edge innovations that impact how people live and work. Among the emerging technologies on display at coolTECH 2010 are personal electronic transportation vehicles, digital pen and paper that captures handwritten data, motion activated video game technology, a balancing belt by Draper Labs, and great programs like FIRST robotics, which FTC Team Duct Tape and FLL team Mabry Robo-Dolphins from Mabry Elementary School, will be helping represent, that provide unparalleled hands on STEM education opportunities for youth.  The keynote speaker will be Frank Farro, head of New Technology Research and Development for Walt Disney World.


One of Team Duct Tape’s student members, Chris Willingham,  will also be showcasing his SkypeBot, a remotely operated robot that can be driven by almost anyone,  from almost anywhere. coolTECH guests will have the opportunity to learn more about FIRST, see the team’s award-winning robot firsthand and have an opportunity to drive Team Duct Tape’s robot, as well. 

Meet QB… and SkypeBot

Learning about Pleo at Georgia Tech

Learning about Pleo at Georgia Tech

When TDT toured Georgia Tech in Atlanta, last month, members enjoyed learning about Pleo, the robotic Camosaur.  Bob Christopher, one of Pleo’s creators, is now heading up Anybots, and leading development of another generation of robots with QB, a “mobile telepresence robot.”

In Anybots QB Robot is a Telepresence for the 21st Century, PC Magazine reports:

…this 5-foot, 9-inch, 32 lb rolling bot, combines a computer, the Internet, mobility, and some self-awareness and autonomy to replace the frequent phone calls, instant messages, and even some video conference calls that distant co-workers have to make to stay in touch and keep on top of work and ongoing projects.

Rolling around at up to 3.5 mph (approximately human walking speed) on two, 12-inch aluminum and rubber wheels (company execs insist this is actually more stable than a three-wheeled robot), QB is a self-balancing robot stuffed with a full Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, as well as numerous mini computers. It uses the technology to capture video though its 5-megapixel eye and deliver it to a browser-based interface on any Mac (Windows support should arrive by the time QB ships in the fall) or PC.

You can read the full article and see video of QB at http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2363866,00.asp   But …

Skypebot being driven in FL by a California friend

SkypeBot prototype being driven in FL by a friend in CA

Before you start hyperventilating over the $15K cost, consider  SkypeBot , the creation of one of our Team Duct Tape members.  Developed by 17 year old Chris Willingham  over the course of the last couple of months,  out of simple curiosity and his desire to try out a Java API,  SkypeBot will debut at  coolTECH in June. 

If QB is an Anybot, SkypeBot is more of an Everybot – open source, accessible, affordable and fun.  And a great testament to the skill and inventiveness of the type of highly capable students that participate in FIRST robotics .

Visit back regularly to keep up with Chris’ progress on SkypeBot, and drop him a line at clwillingham@gmail.com if you’d like to be a SkypeBot beta tester.