History of Robotics

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Alistair Jack – Mercy College Woodford, Galway

Greetings readers, my name is Alistair, I am a Transition Year student from Mercy College Woodford in Galway.

In Transition Year I wanted to live a bit more than the other years in college, so I signed up for many things when they rolled around. Some of those things helped me think about what I wanted to do in future, and when I heard about limited placement in the CONFIRM work experience course online, I managed to get a spot in the few open spaces! CONFIRM was right up my alley with robotics and AI development, so it seemed like a one-time chance.

On the first day, we all introduced ourselves, then learned about what this programme was about and the basics of what CONFIRM was. I was surprised to find out that it isn’t actually part of the Science Foundation Ireland directly, but are funded by them and several other collaborators from around the world.

It’s a shame we had to do this during lockdown since it would have been fun to go and actually meet in person and do much more activities! Nonetheless, I’ve enjoyed it all very much. On the second day, we learned about computer simulation and data collection, I wasn’t particularly interested in either as they seemed so mainstream lately, although there were some details I hadn’t known before.

When it came to the third day, I enjoyed it very much since we spoke largely about 3D printing, another topic which I thoroughly enjoy. I had known a printer could cost you thousands, but millions wasn’t even a possibility in my head beforehand- not to mention how big said printers could get! The things we 3D print now are bizarre, ranging from synthetic meat and food to houses and car replacement parts for overnight changing.

Moving a bit outwards; as well as this blog I’ve been tasked with writing, we also have to design posters, my own of which will be on the history of robotics. Be sure to check it out if you’d like to learn of our first automaton (which was accidentally created so), all the way to what we’re using automated machines for modern science!

CONFIRM teaches more than what I’ve told you about here in their work experience weeks and courses, so I suggest you try it out when you get the chance too. I personally have a better understanding of what scientific paths I could take now, instead of just doing calculus and learning code all day to become a programmer. You can become much more by taking one of these courses.

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