We're glad that you're interested in joining our team! Here at Slugbotics, we wish to bring every aspiring engineer into the field of robotics, regardless of background. To do this, we accept new members every Fall quarter, and provide relevant trainings and onboardings to give every member the skills they need to build robots, regardless of previous experience. This also means we don't gate admission into the team based on any kind of academic ability or prior participation - all who are willing to learn, participate, and contribute are welcome.
Here are the opportunities you'll have on Slugbotics
Slugbotics is divided into several major roles, each of which contributes to the development of our robots, and the team itself.
The Mechanical role leads designing the various physical components of the ROV, from frame design, to attachment and directing of motors, to geared mechanisms, and test props. We design these parts using CAD (computer assisted design) software, and fabricate them using 3D printers and other machines. We also test different designs through extensive prototyping and hands-on experimentation.
On the Mechanical subteam, you will learn the basics of modelling and design using SOLIDWORKS, as well as work to create simple and effective designs which reduce the complexity needed across the ROV. You'll also learn how to fabricate different parts using various tools and machines. These skills are seldom offered in courses - UCSC lacks a mechanical engineering department - so the work done here is something you can't get anywhere else at UCSC.
We recommend this subteam for hands-on experience with building robots, and for those interested in complementing their studies with knowledge of mechanics.
The Electronics role leads designing the various electrical components on the ROV, including sensor layouts, power conversion, network wiring, motor control, cameras, and more. We design these parts using circuit design software, and prototype them through a combination of hands-on testing and circuit analysis.
On the Electronics subteam, you'll learn the basics of circuit design using EAGLE, and create electrical designs which wire the different components of the ROV together, while meeting constraints such as thermal limits. You'll also learn the basics of hands-on electronics construction, such as soldering, crimping, and waterproofing.
We recommend this subteam for experience in designing hardware and learning the basics of Electrical Engineering. We also recommend this subteam for programmers interested in complementing a knowledge of software systems with the underlying hardware.
The Systems role leads programming the electronic systems of the ROV to accomplish various tasks. This role is broad, including tasks such as Systems Administration, embedded microcontroller programming, GUI Application Development, Computer Vision, networking, and autonomous decision-making. This role also works closely with the Electronics role, helping to implement the logic which connects the different devices onboard.
On the Systems subteam, you'll learn a broad set of skills relating to computer systems and programming, and apply them to create better systems for the ROV. You'll also learn the basics of robotics systems, including basics of topics such as Computer Vision (not offered as an undergraduate course at UCSC).
We recommend the Systems subteam to those who are interested in learning how to apply their programming skills to robotics using UNIX, OpenCV, and Qt. You'll also learn embedded programming skills, including working with Arduino and microcontrollers, for integrating software into robotics projects.
In addition to participating in the MATE competition, we also have a branch of our team dedicated to the Formula 1/10 Competition, in collaboration with the Cyber-Physical Systems Research Center (CPSRC). This competition involves programming a miniature racecar to drive at top speeds across a track, using technologies such as ML (neural networks) and LIDAR. You'll learn how to apply different advanced technologies, from computer vision to deep learning.
We recommend joining this division if you're interested in learning the advanced technologies which drive autonomous robotics. It also offers an exciting opportunity to learn from graduate students and faculty about technologies used in robotics and control research.
The Finance subteam manages various aspects of the team, including handling team finances, sourcing sponsorships, interacting with other organizations at UCSC, and making contributions to the future of the team.
On the Finance subteam, you'll learn how to lead and manage projects, as well as make contributions to furthering the team's capabilities and to policy decisions within the team.
The Outreach subteam helps to connect the team both to the local campus community, as well as to the surrounding community of Santa Cruz, to help attach students to robotics learning opportunities. Outreach's goal is to introduce a broad community to robotics and engineering, from K-12 students to other students at Santa Cruz.
On the Outreach subteam, you'll work to create projects and events to introduce a broad set of students to robotics.
The link below will take you to a Google form where you can register your interest for the team. Once you register your interest, you will be given a link on the form that will allow you to sign up for our Slack. Slack is a group messaging platform that we use to communicate on Slugbotics. This will let you get in touch with us, as well as others joining the team!
If you submitted the form but did not get a link (or clicked past it), we will send you an invite via email within 24 hours of your submission.