Last Friday, more than 50 guests gathered as the Northeastern NUTRONS unveiled their team robot, which will compete against other robotics teams in Massachusetts. Founded in 1998, the NUTRONS are a Northeastern-sponsored team of engineering and high school students with an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects who work together to build robots.
This year, more than 20 Northeastern engineering students dedicated their time and helped 25 high school students – from Boston Latin, Catholic Memorial and Brookline High School – design and build a robot with a set of materials and rules in a six-week period.
Under the supervision of faculty advisor Don Goldthwaite, the group worked at night and on weekends to build this robot, which will compete against 52 other robots in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Boston Regional Robotics Competition in March 2009. If the team advances, they will be competing in the national competition this April in Atlanta.
The 2009 competition is called “Lunacy,” in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the United States landing on the moon.
The NUTRONS also help other local area teams that don’t have the necessary resources to complete their robots, promoting an environment of support and assistance to enhance the experience of others in the competition. “Ask a NUTRONS Engineer” is a program created at Northeastern to respond to questions and concerns of local robotics enthusiasts who can email their questions and receive a response within 24 hours from a Northeastern engineering student.
This year’s NUTRONS team is one of the biggest to date, and they hope to continue to expand in the coming years.