While the initial goal was to help with the current pandemic here at home, we quickly realized that this technology could be applied at a larger scale with the ability to help humanity around the world, especially with third-world countries who can’t afford expensive ventilators.
MONTEREY, Calif. (PRWEB) June 30, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has abruptly disrupted formal education for millions of students, including many who participate in the MATE ROV competitions.
Grant Kahl and Eric Love are two former members of Kepler Enterprises who stayed connected with their MATE ROV competition teammates when they were forced to return home from college. All 10 members of Kepler Enterprises got together to create a self-directed project-based learning experience that no instructor or classroom could replicate.
When the team saw a desperate need for ventilators in the United States, they took their shared passion for robotics and engineering to design, build, and program a low-cost Ambu Bag Ventilator System. And coincidentally, by “engineering a solution to a global problem”, these students inherently followed the tagline of this year’s MATE ROV Competition.
They aimed to create their machine with easily sourced materials and referenced an MIT graduate paper on how to make low-cost ventilators as a guide. The team spent 12 to 16-hour days prototyping their machine in self-quarantine. They began developing a ventilation system on March 30th and by April 14th, they were applying for a patent on the machine and simultaneously developing themselves as business owners for Kepler Enterprises, LLC.
The team’s coach, Dr. Jeffrey Kahl, CEO of Robotics Clubs USA, has supported and helped guide the team throughout the entire process saying, “It is awesome to see the team use this experience to further and broaden their horizons; inventions, discovery, business, technical teamwork, and many other new skills...MATE provided a platform for these students to explore their technical skills, organize as a company and share and present their technology.”
These students overcame the obstacle of configuring and programming regulators for mandatory breathing and responsive breathing, one that has stumped many novice engineers. While they might not be creating solutions to the problems the MATE ROV competitions present underwater, they’re keeping the MATE philosophy and theme of engineering solutions to real-world problems.
“While the initial goal was to help with the current pandemic here at home, we quickly realized that this technology could be applied at a larger scale with the ability to help humanity around the world, especially with third-world countries who can’t afford expensive ventilators,” Grant said. “While the end goal has been shifted, our motivation has never changed, and we want to make a difference in the world.”
About the MATE ROV Competition:
The MATE International Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition is a global underwater robotics competition that challenges students to learn and creatively apply scientific, engineering and technical skills in a way that inspires creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurship and innovation. The competition consists of a network of 40 (and growing) regional competitions that take place around the world and feed into an annual world championship. The competition is administered by MATE Inspiration for Innovation (MATE II), a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and its sister organization, the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center, a center of excellence established with funding by the National Science Foundation in 1997.
For more information on MATE II and the MATE ROV Competition, visit https://mateii.org