Gibson MS Robotics Team Meet Their UNLV Counterparts

Gibson Middel School Robotics Team with UNLV Professor Paul Oh (far left) and Ph.D. student and Lab Manager, Dongbin Kim (far right).

Jun. 11, 2018


Click here to view a video of the visit.

As Gibson Middles School prepared for the Worlds Championship, UNLV gave them a glimpse into the future of robotics. 

Earlier this semester, the Robert O. Gibson Middle School robotics team paid a visit to the UNLV Drones and Autonomous Systems Lab (DASL). The Gibson team was recently featured on a FOX-5 news segment for their first place win at the VEX State Robotics Competition and eligibility for the Worlds Competition.

Manager Dongbin Kim, a mechanical engineering Ph.D. student, directed the students through various demonstrations highlighting what he and his team have been working on.

In 2015, the UNLV robotics team, led by Dr. Paul Oh, participated in the DARPA Robotics Challenge where they were asked to develop a robot that would perform in dangerous environments and could replace humans in disaster response scenarios.
The team developed the DRC-Hubo, a semi-autonomous humanoid robot, capable of performing complex tasks such as driving, opening doors, and negotiating debris. 

The Gibson team witnessed the DRC-Hubo in action where it performed a difficult task in robotics, climbing stairs. Later, when asked what their favorite demonstration was, the team agreed that watching Hubo in action was their favorite since they understood the challenges behind its capabilities.

Students who had never flown a drone were given an opportunity to fly and test their pilot abilities by navigating through obstacles that Kim put in their way. After some trial and error, students easily maneuvered through the hurdles.

Next, students saw the Darwin-OP, a miniature-humanoid robot with advanced capabilities such as running back and forth from given set points. A sophisticated piece of engineering, students learned what it takes to make the robot perform complicated tasks.

When the Gibson team competed in the VEX competition, they struggled to find materials for the robot; as a result, they were interested in finding out how UNLV constructs their robots. Kim guided students through the wood, metal, and electric shop to show how different components of the robots are assembled.

Finally, Dr. Oh held a Q&A where he was asked to give the team advice about competing and pursuing a career in robotics. “Put on your game face. Be cordial, but also careful of what you say. A competition is a time where you keep your cards close,” said Oh. “Think about the higher order of things to have a fulfilling career in robotics. Keep working hard at it and put in the effort.”

The Gibson team was also able to run through the pages of Oh’s engineering journals where he writes down all his ideas and current projects. 
In April, Gibson Robotics participated in the VEX Worlds Competition in Louisville, Kentucky where they were able to compete against the best middle school robotics teams across the nation. With these future UNLV alumni leading the way, the future looks bright. 

This story was written by undergraduate English major Jocelyn Silva.