Some cool kids get a kick out of robots


Miriah Anderson in the lab with one of the S&T Robotics Team robots. Photo by B.A. Rupert

Miriah Anderson likes robots.

“I get made fun of a little in my sorority, but I’m pretty proud of it,” says Anderson, who is on Missouri S&T’s Robotics Team.

Anderson and her teammates participate in collegiate competitions involving autonomous robots that they design and program. A senior in mechanical engineering, Anderson has already landed a job with National Instruments in Austin, Texas, where she will head after graduating from S&T.

Anderson first got interested in robots while in high school. That’s why, on Feb. 25, she will be volunteering at the FIRST Tech Challenge, a high school robotics competition hosted by Missouri S&T. Two¬†winning teams will move on to the world championships this April in St. Louis. And maybe some of the hundreds of high school participants will follow in Anderson’s footsteps when they get to college.

Watch the video from the 2011 competition held at S&T:

Every year, the objectives of the FIRST Tech Challenge change. This year, teams can earn points by directing their robots to do things like stack crates and move objects around. “There are four robots on ‘the field’ at the same time,” Anderson says. “You don’t know which teams you’re going up against in advance. But you can form alliances.”

According to Anderson, the robotic events are like sports for the mind. “It’s competitive,” she says.

Story by Lance Feyh

Video by Tom Shipley

Learn more about Missouri S&T design teams.