This semester I joined the USC student organization Makers! Makers is a Viterbi org that facilitates the exploration of concepts in electronics and design. Every year there are a variety of different projects each led by different Makers Project Managers. This year there are 11 Makers projects.
An awesome educational aspect of Makers is the tutorials. Makers host various tutorials on things such as SolidWorks, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, GitHub, and more. It is a great way to learn more and get hands-on experience. It is a community of people passionate about learning and making cool projects, and everyone is very willing to help one another expand their knowledge on various engineering and design tools and concepts. There are lots of experienced Makers within the club that do their best to teach new members all the tools they need to be successful engineers. It is a great place to find mentors, and they have a mentorship program as well within the club that I am a part of. Makers also have various outreach events within the community and networking opportunities throughout the year which are a great way to practice public speaking skills, engage with the local community and expand your network.
My Makers’ project this year is called “Bring it Home” and we are designing and building a robot that will take precise soccer penalty kicks. Our current plan is to use a pneumatic control system to kick the soccer ball. The end goal is to have a robot where we can input what section of the goal we want and the robot will kick the ball into that section. We are dividing the goal into 9 grid sections to designate the final ball location. Last week we had our first checkpoint as a club, where each team gave a short progress update. It was super fun getting to see all the progress being made and learning about some of the other Makers projects. Our team has designed and created a CAD-based model of our robot and ordered most of the necessary parts. We will begin the assembly process this week. At the end of the year, there is a Makers showcase where every team showcases their finished products! I am sure there will be future update blogs on the status of our project, so stay tuned for more information.
I have had a ton of fun this semester and learned so much through Makers, and I can’t wait for more to come!