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E-Tech Robotics - “We built a vast amount of different robots"

posted Nov 17, 2017, 10:06 AM by David Froiseth   [ updated Nov 17, 2017, 10:12 AM ]

by C/1st Lt. Evangela Caliguire                                                                                                Gainesville Composite Squadron, FL                                                                                                      16 Nov 2017

This summer, three members of the Gainesville Composite Squadron (SER-FL-142) attended E-tech Robotics (NCSA) in Camp Pendleton, California. C/CMSgt Kennedy Kiker participated at E-tech for the first time, while his brother, C/1st Lt. Nathaniel Kiker, as well as his father, Capt. Kiker, staffed the activity.

Capt. Kiker, who is a professor in engineering, describes E-tech as, “a wonderful introduction to engineering principles and practical engineering design. It covers strengths of materials and robotics in a really fun and interesting environment. Col DiGiantomasso (D13) is an excellent and inspiring instructor. His lectures are fun, interesting, and very pertinent to modern engineering practice and concepts.”

C/1st Lt. Kiker, greatly enjoyed his basic year at E-tech in 2016, so signing up as staff in the summer was largely a result of his time as a basic, but also a combination of his love for robotics and a prospective college major in mechanical engineering. “I also wanted to pass on the knowledge that I gained to others, and what better way to do that than signing up for staff.” When asked if he would be going again next summer, Kiker said that he would have loved to, except that E-tech Robotics has been canceled for 2018.

For C/CMSgt. Kiker, the most fascinating aspect taught at E-tech, was learning about the different gears and how the differences between the gears effected the object’s pace and strength. However, his favorite team activity revolved around the creation of “battle robots.” Each team had the opportunity to create their own robot, and when completed, the robots were put up against other team’s robots in an attempt to push them out of a ring. “We built a vast amount of different robots, including planes, robots without wheels, battling robots, and racing bots.” And even though the highlight of E-tech is the incredible activities and training in robotics, C/CMSgt. Kiker noted that the training surpassed engineering. “I learned how to work with others, even when there was trouble with cooperation, and how to perform as a team.”

For more information on E-tech Robotics, check out their Facebook page as well as their information on the NCSA Information page at