Let’s discuss robots for a moment

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We at ColumbiaSoft are very pleased to have community connections to the FIRST Robotics Competition teams at two high schools, Team 2915 ‘Pandamonium’ of Riverdale High and Team 1065 “The Moose” of Osceola High. In the FIRST Robotics national competition, teams of high school students create autonomous robots which compete head-to-head at various pre-selected tasks. Successful teams combine the disciplines of mechanical and software engineering to realize their collective vision of a robot athlete.


At ColumbiaSoft, we too create robots, though ours are nowhere near as flashy as those made by the high school competitors. Our robots are creations entirely of software. We have a Workflow robot, which moves documents along a sequence of business tasks. We have a Security robot, which checks users’ credentials at the gateposts of restricted folders. And we have Subscription robots, which monitor files and folders for specific events, like checkins and checkouts, and which send notifications and perform customizable validation tasks when those events occur. These robots are all coordinated by a master Event Queue robot, ensuring that all user-initiated and process-initiated actions occur sequentially, to preserve document and business process integrity.

As pleased as we are of our autonomous software robots, we concede they are nowhere near as impressive as the creations of the FIRST Robotics teams. We are impressed that the students on these teams have such a visceral opportunity, through the FIRST Robotics competition, to apply software and mechanical engineering skills, to learn teamwork in an engineering discipline, and to experience the essential engineering processes of design, implementation, verification, integration, and validation, as part and parcel of their pursuit of robotic excellence. For these
reasons, we are proud sponsors of both Team 2915 ‘Pandamonium’ and Team 1065 ‘The Moose’ in this year’s FIRST Robotics competition. Go Team!


This is a guest post by ColumbiaSoft engineer Steve Gerken

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