Ever wonder where your dreams would take you? NASA Engineer, Heriberto Reynoso, didn’t when he started building robots at a young age at home. The Brownsville, Texas native launched his way into working on robotic projects for NASA meant for man’s biggest challenge, exploring Mars.
This summer he is hosting his Robotics Summer Camp in McAllen for children ages 11-year-olds to 15-years-old. The five day camp is slated for July 14 -18 and comes with a price tag of $398.00. Limited seating available. Students will lean about mechanical and electrical engineering concepts, how to design in 3-D and build robots in a group environment. On the last day parents are invited to see the robots that were made and participate in activities.
“We are going to be using the daVinci arm,” Reynoso said. “They will assemble, wire up then remotely operate their daVinci arm and the hexapod robots.”
Log on to the camp website www.reybotics.com to sign up for the camp and to find out more information.
Reynoso turned his passion into a full-time job offering lessons in robotics to areas school districts and developing his own company called Reybotic where he designs robot kits for educational training and wholesale.
Reynoso is determined to impact K-12 education by incorporating robotics into every day curriculum. He believes that if implemented effectively, robotics can transform education. Not only will it motivate and excite students through hands-on activities such as building and programming robots, but it will also aid in understanding and retention. One example is in math curriculum, “As a result [of robotics] students can visually see math concepts come to life. Most students know the concepts, but have absolutely no clue how to apply them to the real world,” Reynoso said, “Robotics can streamline the process.”
He has had offers from Google and other robotic and computer science firms from across the country but he has made the decision to stay in the Rio Grande Valley and train young students about robotics to spark their interest in career in science and technology – turning the Mid-Valley into a hub for robotics engineering.
In 2009 he collaborated on a project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasedena, CA. His task was to automate the calibration for high-resolution aerial surveillance on a project known as Angel Fire, funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory. He pursued another internship with NASA in 2010 where he worked on developing an interface to streamline the control of a seven-foot robotic arm used to collect lunar soil samples for a proposed 2016 mission called Moon Rise. “I was quick to fall in love with the wonders of science,” Reynoso reflects, “Back then, I would spend every dollar on robot parts. I would save up my daily food meal money on school trips to buy tools. I had no idea this passion would land me a job at NASA developing code for Mars rovers.”