Skynet Robotics club makes spring semester debut as an official club
by, Paola Fernandez
The Skynet Robotics club will make their debut as an official club this Spring semester at College of the Desert. This club was created by three current members of the MESA (Math Engineering Science Achievement) program on campus, President of the Skynet Robotics club Michael Schuldt, Vice President Joe Moeller, and Secretary/Treasurer Todor Nikolov. The club is a place for those interested or even curious about anything dealing with robotics as well as programming.
While moving from the old MESA building in the South Annex to the new MSTC building, Nikolov spotted a couple of boxes of Lego Mindstorm kits, which sparked an interest in creating a robotics club on campus. According to Lego.com, the Lego Mindstorm kits contain a software plan that allows students to “modify sequences of instructions from a variety of real life robotic behaviors.” One of the main motivations of the officers to begin this club on campus was the fact that there isn’t any other club on campus that appeals to those interested in robotics. “I think of all the clubs that we have on campus and none of them are geared towards robotics, working with electronics, or programming. So we had to create it ourselves if we wanted one,” said club president Michael Schuldt.
The club officers decided they didn’t want just any generic name for their club, so they took a more humorous approach. The name “Skynet” was inspired by a corporation in the popular Terminator series. “In the movie, machines and computers created by the Skynet Corporation turn against humanity. I thought it would be a cool joke to have that as a name for our club.” said Nikolov. The club officers addressed the common misconception that building and programming robots is often thought of as a boring process. “There is something very fun and joyful in seeing something that you’ve been working on come to life for the first time,” said Nikolov.
The club officers explain that not only is the process fun, but the results are rewarding. “You don’t have to build a robot that walks to be excited about it,” added Schuldt. The club’s goal is to explore the process of putting together and programming robots while providing club members with hands-on experience that they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else on campus. This club is also a starting platform for those students who wish to pursue a career dealing with such skills as well as those who are inexperienced. After a whole semester of having difficulties completing the application, the Skynet Robotics club is now an official club at College of the Desert and will be participating in Club Rush this semester where they will have a display of functioning robots they built and programmed during the NASA “Winternship” this past January.
Skynet Robotics meets on Fridays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in MESA (MSTC146)