A Teacher and Some Robots Walk into a Bar…

We aren’t dead! We have just been very, very busy and very, very bad bloggers. We do have some great content coming soon however, we promise. Until then, here is a guest post from one of our awesome community members  (darkback2) who came to hang out with us for a few weeks. Che, a teacher in Washington state, is an active pro-hobby robot builder who participates in Mech Warfare and is known for shooting himself to entertain others. We were delighted that Che came to hang out with us and he was a huge help in moving some projects forward that we needed to get done. Expect some new products soon that we can all thank Che for helping make a reality before 2098.

Che  Visits Trossen Robotics

Che Visits Trossen Robotics

Teacher seeks real world experience and finds it at Trossen Robotics.

I am a high school science and robotics teacher.  A few months ago a friend of mine asserted that teachers couldn’t last two weeks in the real world.  I took that as a challenge and set out to prove him wrong.  I called, emailed, and wrote a number of robotics companies around the world.  Matt Trossen answered the call, offering me an internship at his Chicago-based robotics business.

As a result, I got to spend two weeks working at Trossen Robotics.  To be honest, I got to do the fun stuff while Matt Trossen, Andrew Alter, and Alex Ward were stuck doing the hard day-to-day stuff.  I quickly learned how hard it is for the Trossen team to get things done because of how much they have to multitask.  Every time they tried to work on a project, they were interrupted by phone calls, product orders, and the constant stream of people delivering parts, or picking up orders.

In addition to the normal intern duties, I got to do my favorite thing which is, of course, building robots.  During my two-week stay I built an army of robots including an Interbotix Hexapod, a Bioloid Premium, and a Bioloid GP, and shot product videos of each.

Most importantly, this was a wonderful experience that will have a profound effect on my classroom.  As a teacher, it is easy to get bogged down in the how and what of our curriculum.  I am always focusing on teaching the students how to do things and what they should know.  The most important thing I am taking away from this experience is that I need to focus much more on why.  Why things are done the way they are.  I am also much more keenly aware of how meticulous documentation is key to working collaboratively with others.  Because we recorded everything that we did through photographs, notes, and discussions, we were all on the same page and capable of addressing issues that arose as we went along.

The Trossen team made me feel more than welcome.  The hardest part was leaving at the end of my two-week stay.

Che

We missed Che after he left too! We did consider locking him in… Thank you Che for all the awesome hard work you did during your visit!

One Response to “A Teacher and Some Robots Walk into a Bar…”

  1. [...] Our old friend Che is a bit special. He has pet ducks, snakes, really ugly dogs, and a really hot wife. He wears his mom’s leather pants. He’s also into robo-masochism: meaning he lets his paintball-equipped robots shoot the crap out of him, all the while filming it for the internet’s enjoyment. We have weird friends. [...]

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