In April, JMP Solutions played a key and fun role in the FIRST Robotics Competition at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. The program offers hands-on engineering and technology programs and is staffed by students who strive to increase the awareness of engineering and technology in young people. The five-member JMP team had the opportunity to judge, critique and offer guidance in some of the students’ robotic displays and designs.
Our goal in sponsoring this great event was to support young people as they try to figure out the next steps in their lives. Often, we will hire some of these students for co-ops as they navigate their college careers. This opportunity lets us make a mark with the young minds who are on track to completing secondary school; introducing them to our company, our values, and really give them a glance of what could await them in the future.
The robots in the competition were generally designed to pick up hatch pieces (plastic discs with Velcro) or cargo pieces (large balls) and transport them from the loading zone to their team’s respective rockets. The different pieces are worth different points, and the team with the most points at the end of the match wins. Many robots had sections which could extend or retract as the rocket areas varied in location and height above the ground. Actuation was done primarily with pneumatics, though some teams opted to use motors to drive moving sections.
What did the students want to accomplish? To obliterate the competition! Some robots used long tools that doubled to collect points and joust their opponents, others relied on good old-fashioned bumper cars. All in all, they’re masters at withstanding damage from contact with arena objects or directly by other robots.
This is the second year that JMP participated in this event. FIRST Robotics team leader, Tom Kurowski, stated “Being involved with FIRST is a great way to promote engineering. Having the JMP name associated with events such as this allows these students to have the company in mind when they start their university or college careers, as JMP could be their future employer.”
See you next year, FIRST!