by Kyla Qi
Core officer elections have come and gone, but our core leaders aren’t the only elected positions in RoboJackets. Our ability to participate in a diverse range of robotics competitions and projects would not be possible without our Project Managers, who work tirelessly to guide their teams to success. In the month following core officer elections, each team holds their own elections to select their Project Manager and subteam leads for the next year. We’d like to take the time this month to introduce you to our newly elected Project Managers and learn more about what they’re looking forward to for the upcoming year.
BattleBots: Sam Li and Todd Hayes
BattleBots is being led by two Co-PMs this year.
Sam Li is a rising third year student majoring in Aerospace Engineering from Louisiana. Outside of class, he does research at the Space Systems Design Lab and mentors at the aero maker space. In his spare time, he enjoys binging sci-fi TV shows, playing video games, and recently has been trying to learn parkour. As a first year he worked on the 3lb bot Hibachi, a horizontal bar spinner. As a second year, he served as the bot lead for Valkyrii, a 30 lb undercutter. Beyond the technical experience he’s gained, the part of RoboJackets he’s enjoyed the most has been interacting with other members: “[I]t’s great to become friends with and learn from so many diverse individuals. My favorite experience so far would probably be the night before Motorama my freshman year, pulling a near all-nighter with friends to make last minute fixes to our bot, all while joking around and having a good time.” As a Co-PM he looks forward to working closely with Battlebots members as well as the other RoboJacket teams: “With 5 big bots this year – 2 of which are experimental bot types, the return of the 3lb program, and hopefully competitions resuming, I’m really excited to see what we can accomplish.”
Todd Hayes is a rising third year student majoring in Computer Science. A fun personal fact he wanted to share is that his ears are upside down. As a first year, he worked on three pounder battlebot Huski and served as Outreach PM for the spring semester. As a second year, he was appointed to the position of IT Coordinator and also acted as a mentor for a 3lber team. The part of RJ he’s enjoyed the most have been all the people he’s been able to meet and the friends he’s made. When asked about what he’s most looking forward to as PM, he said he was looking forward to setting up a stable environment for the bot teams to succeed, especially given the number of “experimental types of bots this year, from [bots that use] modular weapons to finishing Hocki. ”
RoboNav: Charles Li
Charles Li is a rising fourth year student from Connecticut. He is majoring in Aerospace Engineering and minoring in Computer Science. In his free time, he enjoys drawing, playing tennis, and cooking. He spent his first two years in RoboJackets as a member of the RoboNav mechanical subteam, before being elected as RoboNav’s mechanical lead in the Spring of 2020. During this time he also organized two buildathons and designed a Swervi test rig, allowing the electrical/software subteams to test Swerve-drive related work in parallel with mechanical design/manufacturing. He highlighted the buildathons as one of his favorite parts about being in RoboJackets: “I liked all the machining we did during them, and the overall social atmosphere of hanging around RJ members”. He also enjoyed his time as mechanical lead, stating: “It was really nice getting to know [the new members], as well as seeing them get to know each other and the … returning members.” As PM, he’s excited to meet new RoboNav members across all three disciplines and lead the team as they compete in their last IGVC and transition to competing in their first URC.
RoboCup: Alyssa Gordon
RoboCup’s new Project Manager is Alyssa Gordon, a rising third year Mechanical Engineering major from Northern Virginia. She loves her two dogs and exploring new places. Since joining RoboJackets, she’s spent most of her time working on RoboCup’s mechanical team. Last year she also served as their mechatronics lead. When asked about what she enjoyed most about being part of RoboJackets, she stated: “I’ve loved getting hands- on experience with our robots and seeing how true interdisciplinary projects can come together.” As vaccinations increase and COVID cases go down, she’s hopeful that the team will be able to start working in the shop again in the upcoming year. She’s also looking forward to having an in person competition next year, saying: “I’m hopeful to be able to plan and succeed at our in person competition in summer 2022, especially with two full years of work on the fleet with only a virtual competition.”
RoboRacing: Sam Walters
Rising third year Sam Walters is a Mechanical Engineering major. In his free time he participates in the Georgia Tech Swim Club and enjoys playing video games. Before being elected as RoboRacing’s Project Manager, he worked on Sedaniii and Rigatoni as a member of the RoboRacing mechanical team. This past year he was also appointed the Mechanical Training Lead, who oversees the mechanical training program for new members across the organization. The part he’s most enjoyed about being part of RoboJackets is the skills he’s gained, saying: “I’ve really enjoyed learning all the different machines and then being able to actually use them in my team’s projects.” As PM, he’s looking forward to “getting to know the team as a whole and hopefully bring back after-meeting Cookout trips!”
RoboWrestling: Caleb Chang
Caleb Chang is back for another year as RoboWrestling’s Project Manager. Now a rising third year Electrical Engineering major, he’s gotten interested in cooking in the midst of quarantine, and is learning how to make authentic Malaysian food. He still likes to do flips. Before becoming PM, he worked on the Sumo bots Gucci and Kirbi. He most enjoys learning from and working with people within the organization, saying: “There are so many talented individuals in terms of technical and leadership skills that propel RJ forward. I strive to keep improving RJ just as they have.” When asked about what he’s learned as PM last year that he plans to bring into next year, he discussed what he learned about preventing burnout: “All too often, I fell into the trap of overloading myself without giving myself proper time to rest.” He’s looking forward to the team not only growing technically, but socially: ”As one of the newest teams, I want the team to develop its culture and identity beyond just robots… my hope is that in this coming year we can… build strong bonds in addition to robots.”