May 11, 2017 2:00PM
As a high school student at Olathe Northwest, Jared Baugh discovered his passion for building robots.
“My high school had an engineering program, and for my senior project I focused on combat robotics,” he said. “We built 15-pound robots for competition. I really loved the process, so when I came to PSU, I decided to continue that here.”
Baugh, a technology and engineering education major, is one of 10 members of PSU’s National Robotics League team, which will compete at national competition later this month at the California University of Pennsylvania in California, Pa.
The National Robotics League (NRL) is a manufacturing workforce development program of the National Tooling & Machining Association, where students design and build remote-controlled robots to face-off in a gladiator-style competition.
Josh Peterson, a wood technology major and member of the PSU team, said participating in NRL competitions enhances the students’ educational experience.
“The whole goal of the organization is to promote careers in manufacturing, and working on our robots and partnering with local manufacturers is a great learning experience,” Peterson said. “Plus, it teaches us a lot about how to work together in a team setting.”
The PSU team recently placed first in regional competition in St. Louis.
“Competing is the best part,” Baugh said. “It’s so fun, and you meet so many cool people who share your interest in robotics. You compete hard, but you also help each other. It’s intense and friendly at the same time.”
Baugh said the students take great pride in the robots they take to competition.
“I love the whole process,” he said. “From the CAD drawings to design to prototype to redesign, it’s really neat seeing the robots compete and knowing that we are the ones who designed it for success.”
For more information about the NRL, visit http://gonrl.org.