After many years in industry, it's time for me to give back. One way I have done that is through my involvement with FIRST Robotics. Over the past 15+ years I have been a FIRST parent, mentor, and team leader. More recently I have been judging in FLL and FRC tournaments at the regional, state, and national level. The other way I give back is through teaching. I take a great deal of pride and pleasure in helping students get off to a good start in their engineering careers. And there is nothing more rewarding than a former student stopping by several years later to say 'Thanks'.
Under Emerging Tech, Digital Trends interviewed Craig Putnam, associate director of robotics engineering, about the student-led project that is developing the autonomous rover and payload-deploying drone. The goal is to find and safely destroy hidden munitions that kill or maim as many as 20,000 people around the world each year. Putnam told Digital Trends, “the goal was to come up with a system that was as low cost as reasonably possible so that it could be afforded by some remote village that has a problem with land mines in the area.”
BBC News profiled WPI landmine-related research in this segment. “I believe we’re probably the first that’s been doing the robot drone duo in the context of looking for landmines. Initially, it was just the aerial part then we worked on the rover. Now we’re trying to bring it all together,” Craig Putnam, associate director, robotics engineering, told the BBC. The student teams are developing the autonomous rover and payload-deploying drone to find and safely destroy hidden munitions that kill or maim as many as 20,000 people around the world each year.