Team Duct Tape members enjoyed an evening with IEEE-RAS (Robotics and Automation Society) members last night, including Explaining robot componentsthe surprise gift from IEEE member, Sean Denny, of a beautifully mastered video of a couple of
their matches at the Middleton Madness qualifying tournament in December. Then students gave a short presentation on this year’s Get Over It! game, their design process and engineering solutions for the game.
IEEE-RAS chair George Schott tried his hand at driving the TDT bot, and IEEE members took the time to ask good questions about FIRST, TDTs robot and the game. It was a great opportunity to showcase what students have learned during the season, and to reach out to IEEE members to encourage mentoring to other teams, and to share a call for volunteers for the upcoming Florida FTC State Championship at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach in February.
After their presentation, TDT members were treated to a great short history of LEGO Mindstorms by IEEE-RAS member, and FTC mentor Jim Melton. He’ll be giving a longer presentation at the March IEEE-RAS meeting and we’re looking forward to learning more. He has a great collection of Mindstorm’s products through the last decade, including an RCX and Microscout.
Team Duct Tape members had a fun and busy day yesterday, spending a couple of hours at Sunlake High School in Land O’ Lakes, where they introduced a couple of dozen students there to FIRST robotics, most for the first time. A number of students tried their hand at driving and shooting the robot, and one educator at the school came by to ask about starting a team there. TDT has pledged their support to Sunlake in helping them establish a program at the school. TDT is very grateful to Sunlake Media Specialist, Melodie Oleson, for being so supportive of one of our team member’s request to bring the team to his school for Teen Tech Week there, and for going to such great lengths to get word out about our visit and to bring so many students in to be part of the program.
The Sunlake event alone would have made for a full day, but after leaving the school, we headed over to The Breakfast Nook, to help set up for our Benefit Dinner there. What an absolutely wonderful experience the dinner was! Over 80 people turned out to support the team, and seating spilled out onto the patio. Fortunately, the weather was great, and the company was even better! The dinner brought in $800, and after helping defray food and other costs, we were able to add nearly $600 to our World Championship fund.
We were overwhelmed – once again – by the outpouring of support from neighbors, friends, co-workers and mentors. George
Schott, president of the IEEE-RAS, drove all the way from Dunedin to join us for dinner, and offered to mentor the team in programming next season, a great gift, as programming mentors are few and far between! Team members enjoyed showing him and Sean Denny, also of IEEE, the robot and Engineering Notebook. The Kappelers showed up, from FLL team Brick Buddies, and even got a little collaborative help for some homework in during dinner.
TDT members turned out to be pretty good at table service, too, busing tables, delivering entrees, refilling glasses and being gracious dinner hosts. The Team Duct Tape Signature Dessert made up for in tastiness what it probably lacked in elegance, suggesting that TDT members might want to stick to building robots rather than cake decorating, but everyone seemed to enjoy it just fine.
We also picked up another sponsor during dinner, Foliage Design Systems, of Clearwater, whom we’re delighted to welcome to our team of TDT supporters.
All in all, it was a terrifically fun and uplifting day of camaraderie, community outreach and community support. We want to give a very special thank you to The Breakfast Nook, for opening up after hours and devoting so much time and energy to the Benefit Dinner. TDT remains deeply humbled by all the individuals, organizations and locally businesses who show their confidence and trust in us in so many ways. We’re taking you all with us to Atlanta, in our hearts, minds, plastered all over the robot and firing our competitive spirit.
Thank you all!
An Invitation from the IEEE Florida West Coast Section:
So just how do you feel about robots? Was the last time that you thought about them back when that Transformers movie came out? Well, it turns out that right here in the Tampa area we’ve got a lot of robot activities going on.
In the elementary and high schools they’ve got the FIRST robotics programs, USF undergrads are currently building a solar powered robot for a competition that will be held next year, and I suspect that a lot of those local defense contractors are building the next generation of transformers.
If you have even a passing interest in robots (and what engineer doesn’t?), then I’ve got an opportunity for you.
Local IEEE member George Schott is in the process of starting up an new official IEEE Chapter — the Robotics and Automation Society (RAS if you’re really cool). Right now you have an opportunity to find out more and get in on the ground floor.
In these uncertain economic times, do you think that developing some expertise in another area of engineering might do your career good? George is the one who will be doing all of the work, he just needs to know that you’re interested.
If you like robots, if you still remember who R2D2 and C3PO are, if you cried for the robot at the end of any of the Terminator movies then you are exactly the person that we’re looking for.
Forward this email to email@example.com or pick up the phone and give George a call at (727) 692-6440. He’s collecting names and once he’s got a list he’ll keep you updated on what the next steps are.
Look, if robots are really going to take over the world, it sure seems like it would a good idea to be a member of the Tampa IEEE RAS group — you might get special treatment!
Email or call George!
– Jim Anderson
Chairman, IEEE Florida West Coast Section