The Girls Sock it to ‘em!
When you think of remote-controlled robots, visions of boys-with-their-toys may come to mind. Not so in Miami, Florida where a team of girls at the Miami Lakes Education Center is knocking the socks off the boys and their hopes of winning battling robot competitions. Instructor Paul Kynerd’s class of robotics enthusiasts, known as Team Jag, includes the Mastercam All-Girls Team.
When Mr. Kynerd began looking for a project that would fit in with the mechanical engineering program at the Center, the idea of building a robot that would fit into the renowned Bots IQ National Championships seemed to fit the bill. Using Mastercam, he began working with his class on the design of a 15-pound battle robot. After two years of going it alone, his team comprised of senior girls began winning competitions and he decided to approach outside sources for funding. He found quick success with Mastercam, who liked the idea of supporting a Bots IQ team of young women bent on a career in engineering.
With Mastercam now serving as Team Jag Robotics’ largest sponsor, the students kicked the program into high gear and have designed and built some very impressive entries to take on all comers in the robot arena. One of their Bots, named “Mastercam’s Sting ‘em,” won the Best Engineering title at last year’s Nationals and took 2nd place overall. Using Mastercam, they optimize the tool paths for milling the cross-bracing pockets in the aluminum bodies to achieve the greatest strength possible.
Mr. Kynerd now has 35 seats of Mastercam in his CAD/CAM lab. Many of his students are studying with the online Mastercam University and several have become Certified Programmers. His current goal is to work with Mastercam to build a 120-pound battle robot so the All-Girls Team can “sock it to the really big boys.”
To see Team Jag in action, visit their YouTube channel.