Though school has ended, it’s never the end of robotics. Today we took a trip to NAVAIR, one of our sponsors and mentor suppliers. It’s located on the joint base in Lakehurst. At NAVAIR, they work on the land operation system on air craft carriers. To begin our trip, we visited the labs. We saw the electron microscope which they use to figure out where and how a piece of metal broke. We also went in their laser lab and tested night vision goggles. These are being developed to help pilots see air craft carriers at night. We also got to wander the hallways where various pictures of past projects were hanging. We went into their workshop and saw projects they are working on. Currently, a robot is being designed that is able to move based on signals that are similar to the ones used to direct pilots. The robot was run while we were there and it was really cool how accurately the robot can understand the signals. This part was presented by one of Storm’s mentors. It was interesting to see what he does as a job, and to understand that we could be doing this one day too.
After our tour, we presented to the executives of NAVAIR. We displayed our FRC robot, demonstrating how it works, and explained everything that goes into building it. We thanked them for sponsoring us as well. I was glad we were able to able to show them what we work on. It allows them to realize where they’re funding goes and how we use it.
Next, we traveled back to the base and ate lunch. After lunch, we had the privilege of driving out to the testing site of new cables for used on the air craft carriers to stop the planes. We had much luck, and were able to witness an actual test. It was really awesome to see the equipment working, especially because many people who work for NAVAIR haven’t even seen a test. I am not allowed to explain the test because of security. All I can say is that it was a really interesting to see.
The trip was really awesome. It may have woken me up early on one of the first days of summer, but it was well worth it. I hope STORM is able to take this trip again next year.