We’re happy to be a part of something great!
As you may know, as a part of community involvement, FM has sponsored the FIRST robotics team at Lane Tech High School since 2015, helping students with funding, CAD training, and sheet metal services. FM supplies the team with custom laser cut and formed sheet metal (designed by students using CAD), machining services, as well as technical advice / mentoring. The final competition of the year for the team was the weekend of April 8th. While they had some challenges and did not advance to the elimination rounds this year, the students learned a lot, made friends, had fun, and built a great looking robot which was able to compete.
The students work very hard, mastering difficult technical skills in a short period of time, including 3D CAD design, electronics, programming, motion control, machine vision, pneumatics, sensors, motors, gears, chains/sprockets, belts/pulleys, CAN bus, PID control – much of which is directly applicable to real world engineering work. Many students have come back and credited this program with their choice to continue in the engineering field as a career. This is extremely high-level engineering work for a high school student, and the students have a right to be very proud of this year’s achievements.
This year, FM supported by giving technical advice throughout the build season and sharing feedback to students to help their robot become something that works. Big thanks to Herb Pabes, Faustino Delgado, John Armenta and Jamie Vargas in the sheet metal department, who actually programmed, laser cut, and fabricated the custom aluminum sheet metal parts for the students. Mike West provided machining of parts, which was very helpful this year, especially since some robot suppliers quickly ran out of key parts for the robot, which Mike was able to custom machine for the students. Lastly, sincere thanks to Tim Hogan for all his support and guidance to the students this year! They greatly appreciate the help provided by FM, and consider FM part of the team.