Article by Tessa Schwarze
Cameron Keats, senior electrical engineering major, always enjoyed working on cars, but it was not until high school that he found his love for robotics. “When I was in high school, I found out about this robotics team at my school,” Keats said, “and because I really wanted to get some experience, I joined…and I wanted to continue to grow that experience.” He brought his passion for robotics to Clemson University’s robotics team.
At Clemson, Keats joined the Robotic Systems Research Creative Inquiry project. Now as a senior, Keats has participated in the project for four years, each year competing in the annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) SoutheastCon hardware competition. Competing in this competition is the Creative Inquiry project’s goal each year which make the project somewhat unique as most Creative Inquiry projects do not engage in competitions.
While a perfect robot is the goal, Sharma and Keats said that the Creative Inquiry project is set up for other reasons. “I would say the biggest success we have is not in the robot but in the success of developing the abilities of the students we work with,” Keats said. This year the team included four freshmen with the hopes that they continue in the project and offer their experience, skills and mentorship to the future teams. “This year, our robot is the most successful because we mentored these freshman so they will have more leadership experience for the competition next year,” Keats said.
When Keats graduates, he does not plan to work in the robotics field, but he wants to use his passion for robotics to show younger kids what they can do with technology. “I’m hoping that whenever I start working, I can go around to different high schools and start growing robotics programs there,” Keats said, “And sort of help get kids interested in engineering.”