Kettering Robotics team looking to expand

Students on the Kettering Robotics team don’t limit themselves when it comes to new and unique ideas. From an autonomous couch to battle bots, the group of students on the team likes to bring ideas to reality.

Approximately a quarter of Kettering University's students participated in high school robotics programs, either through FIRST Robotics or VEX. But that participation doesn't have to end when students reach the college level.

Students on the Kettering Robotics team don’t limit themselves when it comes to new and unique ideas. From an autonomous couch to battle bots, the group of students on the team likes to bring ideas to reality. And Andrew Harris ‘18, president of the student organization, is inviting other Kettering students to get involved.

“You can do anything you want. You really get the chance to build out your vision,” Harris said. “There’s just a lot of possibilities. We just try and get everyone learning and building robots for fun.”

Kettering Robotics meets in the lower level of the Academic Building in room 1227 on Thursdays during lunch. There is currently five students in the group, but they are looking to expand.

The group builds things like RC cars, driving simulators and even things such as an R2D2 replica that serves as a movie projector. They’ve also worked on upgrading pink Barbie Power Wheels cars to allow for a faster, more adventurous drive.

“It’s very comical when you see adults sitting in them driving around,” Harris laughed.

Besides the fun and creativity that comes from Kettering Robotics, Harris said he has learned a lot so far.

“You learn programming, different types of machining and using a 3D printer. These are all skills you can use in your co-op and your work, and it sets you apart,” Harris said. “Outside of Kettering, I do automation contract work. I’ve used a lot of skills I learn here to do better work.”

The group is also ingrained into the vibrant FIRST Robotics community that exists at Kettering.

Students in the group help mentor the high school students who use Kettering’s FIRST Robotics Community Center. Harris also wants to hold classes in the FRCC to teach Kettering students machining, basic electronics and other skills that are involved with robotics.

By being part of the Kettering Robotics group, Harris has also learned better communication skills, he said.

“I’ve learned a lot more software development and people skills,” Harris said. “With leading the group, coordinating events and interacting with people on a regular basis in a group setting, I’ve learned to communicate better.”

He’s brought together a partnership between the Kettering Robotics group and Innovation Quest that takes place during lunch hour in the Great Court. They bring together 24 teams for a Sumobot Challenge at the end of the term.

The group would like to compete in more off campus competitions, but would need more participants to make that possible.

Harris said any student is welcome to join. Anyone interested in the Sumobot Challenge or joining Kettering Robotics can contact Harris at harr4351@kettering.edu.