Students Help Robots Take Over The World

By Temia Williams, ROC Small Business Entrepreneurship

Bakersfield, CA - Today’s high school students are gaining first-hand experience in modern technology. Nowhere is that more true than at ROC, where students in the Robotics Engineering program work at hands-on robotic stations. Each station contains fascinating robots from China costing at least $7000 apiece. These robots are used to perform functions such as movement and speech, but only after students use codes to program them.

Of course, coding does take time and talent, and that is where instructor Mr. Mears comes in. Mears guides students through the many variables that can be changed and/or improved upon as students learn to program their robot.

These future robotic and electrical engineers have been training daily throughout the semester in order to sharpen their skills. Their robot, named “Nao”, can now walk, dance, wave, say “hi”, detect faces, and control its other movements. Programming requires students to express an idea of how they wish the machine to function and then to work their way up from there, making their idea into a programming reality. Students say that knowing how to program robots is important in our future society.

Students also get to program a “Universal Robot” that is functioned to pick up and release objects in a desired area. In doing so, they are learning many advanced skills used in modern manufacturing.

Students describe Mr. Mears as a nice, helpful, encouraging teacher who is not too strict, but rather very understanding. Joanne Barnes, a future engineer, said “Mr. Mears gives everyone a chance because he believes in all students. He brings out all of our skill sets, allowing us to make our own mistakes and learn from them on our own.”

Whether robots take over the world or not remains to be seen, but for these students it is clear they will be ready to be a part of that future.