El Camino Invites College Community to Compete in Robotics Exhibition
The El Camino community will have a chance to show off their original inventions and compete for a grand prize at the college’s upcoming Robotics Exhibition. Open to all ECC students, faculty, and staff, the event is scheduled from noon-2 p.m. Dec. 7 and will be staged throughout the first floor of the ITEC Building.
The college’s Industry & Technology Division is sponsoring this competition designed to showcase a variety of creative robotics projects. Entries are due Dec. 2 and must be approved in advance through a poster board or presentation that explains the objective and design process of the robot.
“Through this event, we hope to highlight projects students have been working on in my class,” said Chris Hirunthanakorn, a robotics faculty member and Robotics Club adviser at El Camino College. “We also welcome anyone who is working on robotics as a hobby to join the competition, as well as others who have ideas for their own robot. We hope this will inspire other students to become interested in robotics, potentially join the Robotics Club, or even enroll in the robotics courses that I teach.”
El Camino has long been a starting point for many robotics enthusiasts. Hirunthanakorn’s class helps students construct and test prototype robots while exploring fabrication technologies. Students also learn basic electronics theory and programming, electro-mechanical assembly, motors and micro-controller operation, and can explore careers. The class is a good introduction to the El Camino Robotics Club, which is gearing up to compete with other colleges and has hosted various events as well. The class and the club became inactive during the pandemic, but now both are gaining traction – and interest – from new members.
“I took this course when I was a high school student and I am happy to see that the course and club are available again to provide students the opportunity to learn about robotics and present their robots outside of the classroom,” said electrical engineering major Moises Santander, a former Robotics Club president and current robotics mentor who is now helping to organize the upcoming Robotics Exhibition. “I am looking forward to seeing the projects my fellow students have been working on. It has been quite amazing seeing the build process the students are going through.”
Robots are usually made entirely from scratch, including programming that allows them to operate under preset commands. If a necessary component is unavailable, they are fabricated as well. El Camino’s program offers students of all ages an opportunity to explore their interests in science and engineering, while learning how to approach challenges and solve problems.
Most Robotics Club members are pursuing STEM-related education and careers. Santander plans to transfer to a university next year and in addition to helping get the Robotics Club back online, he is currently part of a team preparing to launch a new 3D printer business with support from NASA.
“There is a lot going on right now, but El Camino has provided me with the skills and resources needed to excel as a STEM major,” he said. “I am blessed to be part of a supportive community that has pushed me to overcome obstacles in pursuit of a career in robotics to become the first engineer in my family.”
El Camino Community College District encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation, or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible, but no later than seven days prior to the event.