by James Reed.
For many RoboJackets members the organization not only brings the opportunity to design and build awesome robots, but also creates an important space to make friends with like minded engineers and socialize. To this end, social events in-person have been a mainstay within the organization for years. However, due to COVID-19 these in-person events have been cancelled in order to protect the health of our members, so teams have had to look for new ways to interact with their members.
One such solution has been RoboCup’s meet and greet program, which pairs members who want to participate with someone that they haven’t met before within their subteam. These pairs then meet online and get to know one another in a context outside of just working. When asked about the motivation behind this program, RoboCup Project Manager Marine Maisonneuve cited wanting to develop a system to help new members specifically, saying “… with the pandemic first years can be decently isolated and miss the part that gets you to stay in a team, the bonding experience”. As far as how it has gone so far, Marine also said “We get a majority of people meeting. They seem to have fun and to be more attached to the team because of it so I think it is a successful experiment”.