This article is part of the CCA Previews for 2016.
By Yong Duan Kai (16S06P)
Much like how “artists” in times of old did not just paint, but were multi-disciplined and jacks of all trades, (sculptor, mathematician, inventor, philosopher and occasionally politician), being an Automatica club member will train you in various disciplines and skills. In a day, one may operate power tools for crafting of a field, do painting for an upcoming presentation, teach programming to a fellow club member, build a robot and be a part-time cleaner – all whilst contemplating the meaning of life and existence.
Most “standard” days involve going to a classroom, and learning new robot techniques and skills from seniors and/or peers , such as how to programme graduate level line-tracking (Google “PID” line-tracking if interested), build spanking new attachments, or even just try and make an earlier build better. Following which, members will split into random teams, and be given a task that requires them to utilise the new knowledge that they have learnt to complete a mission. After that there are sharing sessions where the most successful groups can share their secrets and help the club grow as a whole.
But those are the “standard” days, which do not last for very long. Right away there will be 2 competitions that one has to look out for – the Robocup competition at the start of the year (which we, your seniors, will do our best to prepare you for), and the semi-optional “NJRC”, or National Junior Robotics Competition. Both will challenge you, and both will be tiring. Long days (and nights, if you’re a workaholic) are guaranteed, as you work hard to both conceptualise and realise a solution to the mission you have been given. Before long, heading to the automatic clubroom after school becomes norm, and oftentimes one stays in school as late as 10. (Or more. But completely optional. We promise.)
The result? Oftentimes very rewarding. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing something that you conceptualised in you head actually exist and actually WORK. If you enjoy tinkering with programming logic, whilst being able to play with Lego (this seems to be the most appealing part for some reason), then Automatica might be the CCA for you. We welcome you with open minds.
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