Yesterday I blogged about Autodesk's participation in the FIRST robotics competition at UC Davis. When I was growing up, radio personality, Paul Harvey, had a segment called "the rest of the story." In that tradition, Autodesk Events Manager, Christie Hoyle, shared some information with me so I could tell the rest of the story.
Although the actual robot competition is the culmination of a team's efforts, a lot of activity goes on beforehand. Teams need to develop marketing campaigns to attract sponsors so there can actually be a team. Towards this end, Christie volunteered her time to assist the local FIRST Robotics team, Marin Robotics “Team Recycle-It”, with their marketing efforts. Chief Education Office, Joe Astroth, was a mentor for the team. CEO, Carl Bass, provided Autodesk Inventor training for the 14 students.
The Marin Robotics team (about) is comprised of students who attend local high schools including Redwood, Tamalpais, and Sir Francis Drake. In 2008, they were awarded the Rookie All-Star award for their recycling program which encouraged all participants to recycle paper, plastic, and e-waste during the competition. Last year, they were awarded the Delphi Driving Tomorrow’s Technology Award for demonstrating a solar powered prototype FIRST Robot which inspired other teams to use technology to invent new sources of renewable energy. This year the team sold e-watt saving LED light bulbs.
After hearing details about their history, fundraising efforts, e-recycling program and knowledge of Autodesk products, Christie began thinking about the opportunity for Autodesk to get involved. With her help, Autodesk hosted a Marin Robotics: Team Recycle-It Open House Kickoff in the Autodesk San Rafael office atrium. On February 22, the students and mentors in attendance raised record breaking fundraising dollars. This event also allowed employees the opportunity to ask the students questions about: the FIRST program, their design, the creative process to build their robot, and knowledge of Autodesk software.
When one takes a test to get one's pilot's license, one of the questions is "What makes a plane fly?" There are two correct answers: "Money" and "Lift." So "What makes a robot hang inflatables on a grid?" "Money" and "Engineering."
Volunteerism is alive in the lab.