High school robotics in August at UNC Pembroke

Hello wonderful volunteers,

I hope everyone is having a great summer. As some of you might know, the NC Off-Season FRC event known as THOR (Thundering Herd Of Robots) is coming soon, and this year there will be two separate competitions. THOR 1 will be held on August 5th this year. The location is the Jones Center at UNC-Pembroke, Pembroke, NC 28372. And we are looking for volunteers!!!! We need people for the following positions:

Field Reset
Game Announcer
Safety Glass Table

The schedule for the event is:

General Schedule (subject to change!!):
Friday, Aug 4 – Set-up Facility
Saturday, Aug 5
7:00 am – Volunteer Check-In
7:30 am – Team Check-In
9:00 am – Opening Ceremony
9:30 am – Matches Begin
6:00 pm – Awards Ceremony
7:00 pm – Load-out

If you are interested in volunteering please use to following link and register


Beth Davis
THOR 1 Volunteer Coordinator

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Student summer gathering

Students took a break from their research to celebrate recent successes at Dr Williams house with some food and gaming:

-Alzarrio successfully defended his Master’s thesis

-Pushkar received a job offer from JMAG in Japan

-Kang received a Hydropower scholarship

-Josh and Cameron are each moving into new houses

-Matt survived a short lived attempt at human flight

On the gaming front, it was a strong night for the significant others, with Ping winning at Pairs and Nicole showing unexpected murderous prowess at Kill Dr Lucky.

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Dr. Browne paper on robotics education published in IEEE and automation success for the UNC Charlotte Robotic Mining Competition team.

My colleagues Dr. Aidan Browne and Jim Conrad recently had their paper on robotics education efforts published in IEEE Access.  This work spanned multiple years and was supported by the Department of Labor Mission Critical Operations Grant.


Aidan and Jim also had success at this year’s NASA Robotic Mining Competition, where the team earned the 3rd place award for automation.


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Cameron Nye graduates

Cameron Nye graduated with his MS in Applied Energy and Electromechanical Systems this May.  Cameron was a long time research assistant on the Mission Critical Operations project funded by the Department of Labor, where his contributions earned him Graduate Research Assistant of the year for the AEEMS program this year.  Cameron has taken a job with a Johnson Controls as a Control Engineer here in Charlotte.

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Casey Nichols joins the magnetic gearing research team

Casey Nichols joins the magnetic gearing research team for the summer, after being awarded a NC Space Grant undergraduate research scholarship.  Casey is as Mechanical Engineering Technology major who was recently recognized as an outstanding junior at the ET department awards ceremony.  Casey’s summer research will focus on improving the manufacturability of our magnetic gearing topologies for potential aerospace applications.

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Students present at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute Renewable Ocean Energy Program Symposium

Students from the magnetic gearing research group presented at the annual NC Renewable Ocean Energy Program symposium in Wanchese, NC earlier this month.

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Congratulations to NC FIRST teams

A number of North Carolina teams represented the state last week in Houston for part 1 of the FIRST championship.  These students build robots (up to 120 pounds) in the course of a six week build season, before competition begins.  Dr. Browne, Steven Padgett and I were able to meet with many of the students at the Asheville and Greensboro district events where we represented the NCMCO, telling students how their interest in engineering and technology could turn into a career in Mission Critical Operations.

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