Engineers Rob Figler, left, and Scott Bachman, from iRobot in Bedford, Mass., show members of the Weare Middle School Robotics Club how robots work. (Nancy Bean Foster Photo)
Weare robotics club gets a visit from iRobot
Engineers Rob Figler and Scott Bachman work for iRobot, a company that makes robots for use both in the home and in the field of combat.
iRobot, based in Bedford, Mass., creates robots that do everything from cleaning a swimming pool to mopping the kitchen floor. The company’s “Roomba” is a robot that vacuums a house without any human involvement. The company also makes robots used by the military, including a new robot that can be thrown through a window and will search for enemy combatants or explosives.
Having experts in the field come and talk to the students is a huge boost for the resurrected Robotics Club, said Dr. Greg Reinert, the technology director for SAU 24, who advises the team along with teacher Angie Miller.
The club, which meets after school and has close to 20 students participating, is a way for students to develop engineering and problem-solving skills while messing around with the robots.
Reinert said he and Miller try to break subjects like computer programming and mechanical engineering into “teeny little chunks,” that educate the kids without bogging them down and preventing them from getting their hands dirty.
And having kids become excited about engineering is important for everyone, Reinert said.