Combat Robotics is a Family Value

by Mitch Bossart, Industry Writer for GoEngineer

Combat Robotics is a Family Value

They say the family that plays together stays together, especially the family that smashes other robots to pieces together (okay, that last part I made up).

The Team

Meet Team Fast Electric Robots a.k.a. The Vasquez family: Debbie (Mom) and Jeff (Dad) and Matthew (18) and Jason (15). The entire family has been active in various robotics competitions since Matthew was about three years old.

Mr. Vasquez is a Senior Engineering Technician with a love for building things and that passion soon rubbed off on his son Matthew. It’s been robots, robots, and more robots ever since.

“Both our boys have been involved in building robots from a very early age. Jason was pretty much born into it,” laughs Mrs. Vasquez.

The boys also got an early exposure to science, technology, engineering, and math from attending GoEngineer’s Kids Camps. These free one-day camps for youth provide a unique opportunity to learn about both 3D product design and 3D printing—and it is “live” hands-on learning.

“The boys were first introduced to SOLIDWORKS at Kids Camp,” says Mrs. Vasquez. “And later when GoEngineer started sponsoring our team, they gave our kids a customized, full week of training on the product. All our robots designs are done in 3D CAD now!”

Most recently, Team Fast Electric Robots competed at the 2017 RoboGames, which is kind of like the Olympics of robots. Thousands attend the event to watch teams from around the globe compete in over 50 events.

SOLIDWORKS Training by GoEngineer

Both Jason and Matthew leveraged their training from GoEngineer to build their own robots in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD. They also fabricated many of the components themselves using a manual mill, lathe, and welder in their dad’s garage.

Huge Accomplishment!

This year Matthew Vasquez won the silver medal with his “Whiplash” robot in the heavyweight (220#) combat robotics division, a huge accomplishment considering many of the teams are college aged, but a good majority of them are much older engineering professionals (like Jeff).

Mr. Vasquez competed with “Doom on You” in the middleweight (120#) division and, even though he didn’t win any medals, fun was had every step of the way. (Plus, he even kept his promise to Mrs. Vasquez not to spend a pile of money on building his robot.)

Jason Vasquez competed in the lightweight (60#) division with “Wanna Go” and had a total blast. It was the first large-scale robot that he designed completely by himself—from beginning to end—to fight in the big arena. He also went on to win the Bronze medal with his robot “Crabby” in the flea weight (150 gram) combat robotics division.

“We are very appreciative to GoEngineer,” says Mrs. Vasquez. “We could not have done it without their support.”

 

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