Robot Simulation Challenges Future Engineer From Canjilon

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Pictured, left to right, Adams State University students, sophomore Alysia Martinez, La Jara, CO., and freshman Alyia Blea, from Canjilon, NM, test their Lego Robots abilities during the Intro to Engineering Design final, on December 16.

Robot Simulation Challenges Future Engineer From Canjilon

ALAMOSA – Canjilon native Alyia Blea entered her freshman year of college at Adam State University in Alamosa this fall and dove straight in to her chosen major of engineering. Blea partook in an interesting robot simulation project in her Intro to Engineering Design class which challenged her and her classmates with hands on design problems faced by scientists and engineers today.

The class was divided into four teams and had six weeks to work on designing, building, and programming robots for a final test. According to Blea, programming was the most challenging. “You have to get the programing just right so the robots don’t fall off or crash into a wall.” Building the robots was her favorite aspect, “because it challenged my brain.” She said a high school math teacher inspired her to pursue engineering.

According to Dr. Matt Nehring, physics professor, a National Geographic documentary film on the Curiosity Rover Mars Mission inspired this year’s project, “Planetary Rover Sample Retrieval-Mission.” The project was a simulated unmanned rover mission with the goal of rock-sample retrieval from two separate regions of a “planet.” “The students, among other things, discovered that subtle changes in a design can be the difference between success and failure.”