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Masters of Mobility: Robots on the Road

April 8, 2021
A true testament to what partners make possible, one project kept inspiration alive for more than 300 robotics students during a time when face-to-face meeting was not possible. Due to COVID-19, many robotics experiences were interrupted. Robotics Alliance of Macomb, Macomb Intermediate School District, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development, and Square One Education Network came together to offer students the opportunity to build small robotic vehicles at home or in the classroom for the Masters of Mobility: Robots on the Road project.

Goals for participating students were two-fold:

  1. Develop skills associated with programming, information technology (IT), electrical and mechanical engineering by building vehicles that embody each of those concepts.
  2. Exposure to career pathways in the mobility industry with an emphasis on robotics, sensors, connected, and autonomous vehicle technology.

To provide a real-world experience, Square One Education Network worked with companies to collect and provide 381 robotic vehicle kits, 28 document cameras, 26 PRUSA 3D Printers, 24 hours of training, and two webinar events with industry leaders. This equipment and training allowed students to simulate real-world connected and autonomous vehicle technology by completing mission challenges in a virtual environment.

Carolyn Sauer, senior director for MichAuto had an opportunity to participate in the Dec. 17 webinar focused on manufacturing, saying, “For an industry that needs to quickly build up its workforce for skilled trades, manufacturing, and high-tech roles, like software engineering, this type of experience is necessary to fully engage students in the automotive and mobility field at a young age.”

Demonstrating that students can use their skills and passion for problem-solving and developing technology is important.  Allowing them to experience it takes it to the next level, opening their minds to a host of career possibilities right here in Michigan.