Introducing the manufacturer of the hour, the robot that can’t be topped, the official MakerMinded mascot, Finley the Fabricator!
On November 8th, 2016, we began a nationwide search for a face to represent MakerMinded. Our contest pitted classmate against classmate, school against school, and ran until February 28th, 2017--when the responsibility of selecting the winner was placed in the hands of the public. The twelve finalists collectively received over 2.3 thousand votes--and with over eight hundred votes, the welded creation of Collin Garrison from Prescott South Middle School was chosen to convey the message of MakerMinded to the masses, just like the conveyor belt that supplied the car parts from which he was created.
Finley the Fabricator's body was constructed from scraps of a manufacturing assembly line. He will be the conduit between the MakerMinded program's goal of opening young minds to advanced manufacturing and the program's participating students, teachers, and employees, just like his arms made of Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT) serve as an electrical conduit. And, no robot would be complete without the ability to express his eagerness to help the MakerMinded cause, so Collin gave Finley eyebrows recycled from a flat screen TV mount.
Before you shake hands with Finley, you should know that his robotic grippers are equipped with a plasma cutter welding torch. His feet came from grippers used at a manufacturing plant for an assembly line machine.
Finley's chestplate boasts an electrical distributor from a 1950's automobile.
Putting together Finley required safety equipment; a welding mask, safety goggles, a respirator, and gloves. Collin, following his uncle's advice, hammered Finley into shape, bending and cutting pipe to form a frame that was then welded together.
Collin specifically chose each of these parts to represent the breadth of the manufacturing process.
Collin's winning design earned his school a brand new 3D Printer. The original Finley the Fabricator is currently greeting students at Prescott South Middle School (though they steer clear of the plasma cutter welding torch), while his likeness will soon be available online to download to be 3D Printed.
Tennessee Tech University's iCube is currently digitizing Finley the Fabricator so that he can live on the web, and be downloaded and 3D printed around the world.
Expect to see more of Finley as he wheels his way around the website, offering helpful advice to users and guiding them through the points-submission process.
His machine-learning artificial intelligence will also help to respond immediately to many of the common processes occurring on the site. Feel free to send him your questions, or even a friendly hello!
Thank you to everyone who participated in the mascot contest--we received some amazing submissions. Stay tuned for more fun, exciting ways to win cool technology for your classroom!