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Robotics Team Takes on Real-World Challenge

October 1, 2019
Miami Valley School

Students on The Miami Valley School robotics team completed work on a prototype this month that through partnership with a local business will have a lasting impact on the future of technology application in construction.

The students on the team, called MVS Rambotics, were called upon to put their skills and passion into real-world application, when Jeff Samuelson, president of Chalkline 4D approached the students to gauge interest in helping his company increase efficiencies.

Chalkline 4D is an innovative construction technology company that developed a way to project CAD drawings to scale at construction sites for accurate, time-saving builds. The company uses a 25-pound device to project the CAD drawings, but Samuelson approached the students to ask if they could innovate a way through robotics to lift, control and secure the device in the field.

The students were up to the challenge, and presented a working prototype in September.

“I wasn’t expecting this much,” said Pat Ryan, CTO for Chalkline 4D, after presentation of the prototype. “It’s amazing what these students have done here. They did a great job, and I would say it was a very successful demonstration.”

Ryan said the next step for the project is that the prototype will begin going through several iterations, as a collaborative effort between The Miami Valley School students and Chalkline 4D, but Ryan said he believes the work the students put into the project will set the foundation for something that will be used in the field very soon.

Samuelson, who sits on the board at The Miami Valley School, said he had the idea to approach students at the school with full knowledge and belief they could perform. He had originally considered approaching college students for the project.

“Why wait until these students are in college,” Samuelson said. “They are fully capable, and it’s obvious they know what they are doing. Learning theory is one thing, but students at The Miami Valley School are used to getting their hands dirty solving problems.”

The Miami Valley School Robotics team competes as part of the First Tech Challenge League and is at the beginning of its 2019/2020 season, said Kelly Roth, who along with Faculty Member Jim Walker serves as a mentor for the team. Roth said she and Walker have been available to help with clerical things and guidance for the team, but in true MVS fashion:

“Our students do most of the work.”

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