Boston Scientific is a well known supporter and sponsor of FIRST. Our team was lucky to be one of five FTC teams invited to demo and showcase our robots for Boston Scientific employees. All of the five teams are supported by Boston Scientific and have a mentor who works there. Arriving early, we got our official visitor stickers and were guided to the large cafeteria. Getting to work quickly, all of the teams cooperated to put together the 12’ by 12’ playing field. We were ready to start demoing!
With only four of the five robots on the field at a time, we decided to take our robot, Stacy, on walks around the tables to show people her up close when it was our turn to be off the field. We explained about the program and showed off what Stacy could do, shooting wiffle balls into the air before catching them. Some brave people tried her out, driving her around while we showed how she works. Even those who didn’t want to try driving her chuckled as we wandered around the tables with Stacy leading the way.
At the field mock matches were played to demonstrate to the people watching what it would be like at competition. A crowd gathered around the field to watch and see what the different robots did. Some of our members navigated the crowd, answering questions and talking to people.
After eating the fancy lunch provided, all the teams couldn’t wait to take a tour of the facility. The teams followed our guide as he brought us to various exhibits showing the products and history of this branch of the company. We learned about leads, pacemakers, defibrillators and other heart devices from our guides as we saw the evolution of each of the gadgets. We got to visit a CAD lab and saw how what we are doing in FTC can be applicable to real life jobs as well. The most interesting part for us robotics teams, however, was on the manufacturing floor. We went into a lab and got dressed in lab coats, hair nets, and shoe coverings and washed our hands to make sure we were ready before entering the sanitized lab. In the lab we got to see different robots and how they work to make and test the products. A technician explained how they operate and how even the mats we stood on for part of it were actually sensor pads!
We really enjoyed the chance to show Boston Scientific how great the program they are supporting is and the opportunity to get a tour of the facility!