SAM is a retired FIRST
Robotics competitor. He was built by the UpStaRT team (now
called EnTech or simply team 281) with the
sponsorship of Michelin
and competed in the 2001 First Robotics event.
his previous role as SAM Sr. was a crowd pleaser but not for his
athletic skill. He originally had a large basket for
carrying balls attached to a telescoping neck that could lift the
basket 12 ft off the ground. Unfortunately, with the heavily
loaded basket raised to great heights, SAM Sr. was prone to tipping
over in a dramatic crowd-pleasing manner.
After his retirement from competition,
Team 281 donated SAM Sr. to Southside and we spent a year modifying
him as shown in the above picture.
SAM Sr. was refitted with a new skin made of
an aluminum and plywood composite that substantially reinforced his
somewhat weak frame. His basket was replaced with a shiny new complete
a TV camera eye, an artificial
ear, and a speaker so that he can communicate with everyone and share
his wisdom. Alas, he lost his two arms, but they could only move up
and down. Besides, they had no grippers.
Sam Sr. has made multiple personal
appearances at Roper Mountain Science Center as a science education
ambassador and numerous appearances at Southside High School.
These days, SAM Sr. is semi-retired but is
about to be reactivated with Android phones for his control system.
- To help young people get excited about potential
careers in engineering,
- To demonstrate basic principles taught in math and
- To act as a test platform for developing new mobile
robotic manipulators and control systems.
SAM Sr.'s Latest Modifications
Hopefully one day SAM Sr. will get arms but for now
we're modifying him to be
controlled with Android phones. His previous controller was part of his
original equipment as a FIRST competitor and contained a very limited
amount of "brain-power". A single Android phone boosts this power by
several orders of magnitude and opens up many new possibilities.
So, after being modified, SAM Sr. will be a virtual
genius compared to his previous lack of intelligence. Besides, operating a 7 ft tall robot with an Android
phone is just plain cool.
SAM Sr.'s head, about to get an IQ boost