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UCF Robotics Club Receives NHRL Grant Award
TOPICS & CATEGORIES
The Robotics Club of Central Florida (RCCF) at University of Central Florida is the recipient of the Norwalk Havoc Robot League (NHRL) 2023 College and University Robotics Grant. “I am very proud of my students and their accomplishments,” said Crystal Maraj, RCCF faculty. “Every year, we have students who want to explore the exciting world of robotics.”
The mission of the RCCF is to engage students with challenging and innovative projects in the field of robotics. Many members of the club have achieved success with various companies, such as NASA, Lockheed Martin, Disney, and Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division.
Tevin Mukudi, RCCF outreach and recruitment officer, said, “The RCCF is a community of members that work together to design and build advanced robots and robotic systems, for competition, education, and community outreach through the aid of our organization sponsors.”
The club is comprised of over 30 undergraduate students dedicated to producing innovative robots that challenge all majors within the club, such as engineering, computer science, art, and web design.
“Joining the Robotics Club helps to create well-rounded individuals and to invigorate students’ morale, build resiliency, and set a path for success after graduation,” said Maraj.
Maraj works directly with the individual members and as a team to provide guidance when choosing and planning out a project.
“At times, students encounter problems while working on a project that is preventing completion, so I take these moments as a learning opportunity to teach students the importance of good failure,” said Maraj. Just as if in a real-world work environment, the club must account for any potential issue, including scope creep, schedule risks, and financial issues that could impede the development of a project.
The RCCF participates in competitions each year, , The Intelligent Ground Robot and Lunabotics, a lunar mining robot competition hosted organized by NASA, where the team can test the design and durability of the robots created. “Our members enjoy the challenges and experiences that these competitions bring,” said Mukudi.
RCCF constructing their competition robot.
In addition to competitions, the RCCF supports smaller projects whose purpose is to educate members about robotics through a hands-on approach and provide a platform where members can develop their skills and knowledge of robotics.
“The sense of community between members is what drives our motivation to develop robots for challenging competitions and further develop our prowess in robotics,” Mukudi said. “RCCF strives to spread this feeling of togetherness to our community.”
The team is dedicated to continuing outreach efforts in the community with the hope to inspire and educate. “Through the interactions between members, our community, and our sponsorship partners, we envision a more connected organization that facilitates the exchange of ideas, opportunities, and friendship,” added Mukudi.
As part of current outreach efforts, the RCCF has been involved in volunteering and educational opportunities around the community. The club participates in local community events where they can share their passion for robotics with students from various middle and high schools. Extending their outreach to Jamaica, the RCCF is developing the Robots Over the Wire Outreach Project, where members of the club are gearing up to build robots for students to interact with remotely.
Looking to the future, RCCF is working to grow the club, both in the scope of their projects and outreach efforts. They are looking to increase the number of club members to work on more exciting and challenging projects as well get involved in more competitions for current and prospective members.
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