(WTNH) — There has been a push to get kids interested in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math). News 8’s Meteorologist Ashley Baylor introduces us to a local team with a unique passion for building and battling robots, otherwise known as BattleBots!
HUGE is a heavyweight combat robot based out of South Windsor, Connecticut. HUGE competes regularly on the Discovery Channel’s show, BattleBots.
Jonathan Schultz is the captain of Team HUGE. While they all come from different backgrounds, Jonathan and his teammates all share a passion for robotics. And that passion shows in the BattleBots arena.
“You spend months working on it, putting it together, designing it, painting it, testing it and once it’s in the arena, it’s in the arena. There’s no changing anything. Adrenaline to the max, pressure to the max. People are there screaming and shouting. There are cameras everywhere; there’s nothing else in my life that’s ever been like that.”
Having members with various skill sets allows for the team to collaborate on creative ideas, building the best and most sustainable robot.
“One of our teammates focuses on electronics a lot more. It clicked with him a lot more than it clicked with me, so he’s since been the person who always does our electronics and the internal design.”
Building a robot doesn’t require you to have a background in engineering, just dedication, and a creative mind.
“One of my favorite new robots this season is called ‘Smeeee.’ He’s a photography student, no engineering background. There are a few people who are plumbers, some of them, machinists. Being able to build a design that’s totally wild and new, and make it function, I think having that engineering background helped get us to be up to speed and go from idea to reality.”
Sound interesting? You can start by checking out the local competition in Norwalk. The Norwalk Havoc Robot League has seven robot battles scheduled this year. Due to COVID, there won’t be any live spectators, but the battles will stream online. The first one is February 6th.
“There are so many different paths into engineering and into making stuff. Once you get in that problem-solving mindset of ‘I want to do this’, ‘how can I do this?’, it’s addictive. Once you’ve thought of something and then build it, you’re going to chase that feeling for the rest of your life.”
If you want to catch HUGE in action, they will be battling against Kraken Thursday at 8 p.m. on the Discovery Channel.