While promoting STEM education and career opportunities through tabling at events is a large part of RoboJackets outreach, so is educating members of our community that are already engaged in robotics. RoboJackets had the opportunity to offer mentorship to FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) Team 5773 Ink and Metal, from Northern California. The team is entirely student run, and stands to benefit from the knowledge and experience RoboJackets has as a student-run collegiate level robotics organization. Recently, the team reached out to RoboJackets to learn about an effective design workflow, as well as efficient CAD and prototyping techniques. RoboJackets President Shishir Pandit-Rao and Outreach Chair Malak Bayyari worked with this team to conduct a Q&A session with a few initial design concepts, helping the students ask questions that developed their understanding of potential advantages and disadvantages of their designs. “I was very impressed by their design process and advanced manufacturing capabilities, and was very excited to see the potential of their designs!” said Shishir.
This was not RoboJacket’s first interaction with Ink and Metal. RoboJackets first met with them in fall 2020. At the time, the team was seeking advice and feedback about team structure and work environment development. RoboJackets has a long history of cooperation with Georgia FIRST and FIRST teams, and we were pleased to directly mentor Team 5773 even in this limited capacity. We hope to find opportunities like this in the future to make an impact on educating students in robotics.