6,455 miles / 10,389 km away from our Oakland CA CoLab, we have a student in Argentina learning hands-on how to build Robots!
The world has changed since the pandemic, and CoLab at Circuit Launch has been experimenting with teaching Robotics in a new way. With mixed in-person and remote students all working together, this group of students is continuing to develop Reachy (an open source humanoid robot).
Nahuel, who is our student from Argentina, has been joining our Zoom calls and participating in our Discord group work sessions. Despite power outages, difficult internet access, working full time, and English not being his native language; he has overcome all that to thrive within our program!
As a virtual student in a different country, with a different language, in a different time-zone, there have been a lot of challenges to overcome. Fortunately the program is really "virtual-friendly" and the coordinators are always there to help you.
Nahuel has excelled in the program learning a variety of skills. The opportunity to learn hands-on in a project-based robotics program is what drew him to apply.
I found in this program such an incredible opportunity to learn by doing, focusing on real hands-on projects and getting the right mentoring.
Currently we have been designing a pan tilt servo mechanism for the neck of our bot. Nahuel has been leading the charge and learning 3D parametric CAD modeling from scratch. With just a short primer session with one of our mentors, Nahuel was learning 3D design. Each morning the latest version of his design was sitting on our 3D printer (printed 100% remotely), ready for assembly, and Nahuel awaiting notes on changes needed for the next iteration.
Within less than two weeks Nahuel was designing more complex assemblies and his designs were immediately being built into functional mechanisms.
It takes most people months to build a proficiency in 3D CAD modeling.
I was really enthusiastic and I had the great support of a mentor in CoLab that explained the basics, and was always there to help when I had doubts about how to continue. Another thing that I believe was crucial, was to quickly move to a hands-on approach after a short explanation.
Nahuel learned 10x faster:
- Mentors were there to give him the next step, tips to avoid pitfalls, and precisely what he needed.
- He moved from design to iteration immediately. So much is learned when printing, assembling and testing a design. From tolerances to structural failures, it is faster to learn by doing.
- The team needing his designs to be assembled to move forward, created positive accountability and motivation.
- Access to advanced prototyping equipment, tools, and a community of experts at Circuit Launch, even remotely.
I have been interested for long time in learning 3D CAD but I have never had the chance to have a project that actually challenged me to learn it before. Tutorials on the basic steps for 3D modeling are nothing compared with the experience of having to design something that people are depending on you for.
His contribution is now part of our open source project and provides functionality that is in reach of thousands of robotics enthusiasts interested in our projects.
What's next for Nahuel?
He's working on programming our robot (in Python and ROS) to have a conversation with you, check if you're wearing a mask, and help you find your way at Circuit Launch.
Build Robots at CoLab:
Apply before April 7th 2021 to get 75% off.