CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Young minds were opened at Swansboro High School, as students spent time with the Marines and their robots. Marines with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, visited Swansboro High School to work with and help inspire students on the school’s robotics team in Swansboro, N.C., Nov 17, 2016.
For the past three years, Daniel L. Lohmann, a team leader with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company, has been coming to the school with other Marines from the unit to teach the students about robotics.
Each year in January, the school’s robotics team starts preparing for a robotics competition that takes place in the spring. The Marines visit this year will help the students prepare for the competition.
“We’re trying to give them some ideas and get their minds flowing to give them a foundation that they can start with for the upcoming competition,” said Lohmann.
The event gave students an opportunity to see the practical application of the MK2 Talon, 310 SUGV System and MK 1 PackBot robots.
The Marines brought the three robots into the classroom where they taught the students about the capabilities and limitations of each one. The Marines taught the students that each robot served a purpose, but also has its setbacks.
Cristina A. Colom, a member of the Swansboro High School Robotics Team, said she learned to consider the battery life of a robot while also keeping the weight of it in mind.
After the classroom instruction, the Marines gave demonstrations of the robots working through obstacle courses by moving over objects or picking them up.
“This will give them an idea of what’s feasible, and what’s not, with their robots,” said Lohmann.
Students looked to the Marines for knowledge and wisdom about how to overcome obstacles that they may face during the competition. The Marines inspired the students to creative by sharing stories of adapting and overcoming with the robots that they had.
Once the demonstrations were over, each student had an opportunity drive a robot.
“Were trying to give them some hands on experience for when they build their robots,” Staff Sgt. Malachi W. McPherson, an Explosive Ordinance Disposal Technician. “It’s always good to get out and show different people in the community what we do and build relationships.”