WILTON, Conn. — A group of 14 students from Wilton and Weston have their sights set on building a remote controlled robot from scratch, but need the community’s help in making their vision a reality.
The students are part of the Wilton Library’s recently formed robotics club, Singularity Technology, which is gearing up to participate in a robotics competition hosted by FIRST — For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — which organizes robotics, tech and LEGO competitions around the country.
Club mentor and coach Susan Lauricella, director of teen services at Wilton Library, said the initial cost of building a robot from the ground up is approximately $3,000.
“Although the library has some seed money for the project, the team members will be going out into the community to raise the funds required for the competition’s entry fees and materials,” she said. “The financial support can be in the form of donations and discounts from companies where the kids will be purchasing supplies, to outright contributions from engineering-type businesses, or from anyone who sees the long term value in supporting this endeavor.”
The club plans on building its robot this fall, to enter in a statewide competition next year. In the building process, club members will learn about using social media, budgeting, fundraising, creating promotional materials for marketing and teamwork.
Singularity Technology is made up of students from Middlebrook Middle School, Wilton High School and Weston High School.
The club was formed this past spring after Lauricella, her husband, Paul, an engineer, and neighbor Keith Andresen, a retired engineer, realized there needed to be a student club just for "techies."
When the call for club members was issued, the response was quick and enthusiastic.
“I joined the Wilton Library Robotics Team with hopes to learn more about robotic engineering, explore a career field I may pursue, and participate in a competitive challenge alongside other passionate students,” said Weston student Elaine Hong.
In addition to the Lauricellas and Andresen, volunteer coaches include Thomas Kozak, a Wilton Library technology expert, and Malcolm Whyte, a retired Wilton engineer who has worked on many community building projects, including the library’s expansion.
Anyone interested in providing materials or financial support to the club should contact Susan Lauricella, 203-762-3950, ext. 243 or firstname.lastname@example.org.