Our team is thankful that we have multiple dedicated members willing to put in vast amounts of their time to help educate students on robotics. With a wide variety of skills and professions, our mentors help drive the students to success.
Austin, who graduated from the team in 2007, earned BSME and BSEECS degrees from University of California Berkeley and now works at Google; he helps the team with many of the aspects of building the robot, including CAD, programming, and a considerable amount more. Austin says and lives "there is always a better way. You've just got to find it."
I''m a college student at UC Berkeley. I''ve been on the team since 2004, was team captain in 2007, have been mentoring the team since 2008 and can probably be best described as the lead technical mentor. Austin
Jerry, a software engineer from Google, helps the team by advising the students about programming the robot.
I'm a software engineer at Google. I started mentoring the team in 2006 when the team needed advice about prioritizing things to do. I can help with software development, engineering technique, and photos to document the season.
Robotics is an ideal way to learn debugging skills. If the robot stopped moving, did the motors stop or just the wheels? Did the left and right wheels stop at the same time? Did the robot lose all power? Motor power? Did it drop a chain on the floor?
The key is the scientific method: Observe the symptoms, think of hypotheses that could explain them, think of ways to test (rule out) hypotheses, and do the tests.
This skill can help you in many endeavors. If our doctors, plumbers, and car mechanics also learn it, that would help, too.
Randy, an engineer from Intuitive Surgical, helps review the robot design and provides an engineers insight.
I've been mentoring the team for the past 4 seasons. I'm a mechanical design engineer for Intuitive Surgical, a company in Sunnyvale which makes robotic systems used by doctors in the operating room.
Most of my work is in mechanism design and Solidworks/CAD, but I also have experience in overall system design. I'll echo Roy and say like that myself, like the other mentors, are here to help. If you have a question, want to discuss ideas for a design, or just need help getting started on something, don't be afraid to ask! Looking forward to working with you this season.
Wyn took over as the adult leader of the team in the Fall of 2011. She is a constant presence at meetings, supervising until late almost every day. She works closely with team leadership and helps to organize everything from meetings to dinners. My goal is to help introduce students to science and technology in a fun and engaging way. I help them build teamwork, technical, and leadership skills that they will take with them into their future education, work, and other life experiences.
It is important to make sure we have the resources and commitment to accomplish what we want to do - we've been trying to get the team to do that for a long time. The vision that I have for the team is to develop a sustainable program that provides the best experience to the most students. Ideally, we will develop a strong program that maintains a level of participation that allows us be successful and inspire students. Winning is nice but I would really like 971 to be marked by a successful, sustainable program. If we have a have a structure in place that provides planning and training, we can proactively make the decision about how much we can tackle in a given season and adjust the scope accordingly and be successful on whatever level we decide is appropriate. I think that student learning can be maximized by training, mentoring, and inspiration. If we can inspire students to achieve more than they thought possible, I consider that a success whether we win or not.
Michael, an engineer from NASA, advises the team about structural integrity. He also provides general support for the team and helps the team leadership run the team.
Sarah Good was the team's sponsoring teacher from 2006 until 2011. She still helps out from time to time and is a valuable resource for advice for all of the team's members.
Sheri helps with supervision and provides valuable insight to the team leadership.
Hershal attends UC Berkeley where he is studying engineering. He helps with CAD and drawings as well as basic design and construction.
Evan, a team alum, graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts and is looking to continue education at the graduate-level. He helps with clarification on rules, the running of the team, robot design review, strategy, and mechanical issues. He also makes the team videos covering Team 971's season and competition successes