Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The CU Loop: Out & About

This is a pilot episode for what I hope will become a regular video segment here on The Loop, Hope you enjoy it! Check it out again next week when I'll be hanging out at The 3rd Annual Walk to Stop Hunger in Capitol Park here in Augusta.

As anybody who works at a credit union knows, we get tons of calls for donations and sponsorships each year. This year we were able to help a really great group of kids explore a new avenue for learning by sponsoring a robotics club at Messalonski High School. The team, called Infinite Loop (I knew they were cool as soon as I saw "Loop" in their name!), Competed in the US First Robotics Competition in Manchester, NH.

Mary Dolan and I got the opportunity to go check out a demonstration before the robot was finished. We were very impressed, but seeing the finished product on April 2nd during an open house they held was awesome. This was their rookie year, and I have to say that I'm looking forward to some great advances in their design as the years go on.

They placed 23rd out of 48 teams, a great showing for their rookie year. The team was sent the basic computing parts, sensors, and gyros from the FIRST foundation but the rest was up to the team. They put together the frame, connected the computer, power, sensors, pneumatics, etc. They were responsible for all the design and programing.

Most of these students were starting from scratch when it comes to robotics. With the help of the math team and with several team members in Calculus class, the team programed all the input and even programed the bot to operate autonomously for 15 seconds at the beginning of each event.

I'm very happy that we were able to help out this group of bright people. They got to experience a possible career path, explore new aspects of math they were learning (how great is it to actually get a concrete answer for "when will we EVER use this?"), and get some great hands on learning with everything from engineering to making T-shirts. In my opinion, there is nothing better than some hands on learning to build real life experience and see what the mind can accomplish.

So, Congrats to Infinite Loop for doing such an awesome job during their rookie year. I'm really looking forward to checking it out again next year. I even got invited to help them put the next project together come January.

Music: 86 Degrees - Epilogue
Edited with: Windows Movie Maker
Filmed with: Cannon Powershot


Jeff Hardin said...

Andy -

Nice V-post! Keep 'em coming!

Congrats to the Robotics Club for a job well done, and to MSCU for investing in the community.

Andy said...

Thanks Jeff! Glad you enjoyed the vid :)

Ginny Brady said...

Andy, Go Messalonski HS Robotics Team! I bet they're in the top ten next year. What a great project for Maine State CU to sponsor. The video was terrific (thanks for giving the technical specs at the end).

Andy said...


No kidding, for their first foray into robotics, they did an awesome job and they'll only get better at the design as the years go on :)

Tony G said...

Nice Vid and Audio. Great creativity. Didnt know that MSCU sponsored this event. Later

Andy said...

Thanks for commenting Tony. Glad you liked it. I'm hoping that we can get some of the things we do that nobody knows about out there. Thanks for watchin' :)