Building Robots is Fun - Felling Supports Local Robotics Teams


SOURCE: Felling Trailers, Inc.

Sauk Centre, MN (May 13, 2019) - Fanning the flame of innovation in today’s youth is the responsibility of every company, especially those in the manufacturing trades, according to Felling Trailers.

As many of today’s skilled tradesmen/women move closer to retirement, the industry needs to be proactive. Felling Trailers does this in many forms. The company partners with area schools for a “Careers in the Community program,” where high schoolers learn welding, office administration and marketing. It offers welding camps to 12 to 18-year-old girls and boys, gives manufacturing tours to students and event sponsors trade-related programs and teams.

Creativity and innovation must start somewhere, and Felling Trailers believes it begins with a curious mind and the right opportunity. A mind that looks at a task or a process and wonders how it can be done differently or if it can be simplified.

The approach is the same mindset as the company’s Founder, Merle J. Felling. As a young child, Felling made his first trailer from parts of decommissioned equipment to create a rock wagon that would reduce the time and effort to complete the task or clearing a field for planting.

Today, a good amount of innovation and progress seen in manufacturing is intertwined with technology and the field of robotics. Robotics has grown into every part of modern life. Everything, from cars and smartphones to thermostats and gaming consoles, is tied to robotics and mechanical engineering. For this reason, Felling Trailers, Inc. proudly supports area school’s robotics teams.

“As a manufacturer, we know how robotic automation can impact production processes. We see, firsthand, the opportunities that individuals with robotics backgrounds have as members of the workforce. Supporting these area teams is one way we can be good stewards in our communities and the future of our industry,” said Brenda Jennissen, CEO of Felling Trailers, Inc.

In early April, the Felling Trailers’ team had the opportunity to see the product of one of those robotics teams.

The UC-Botics team from Upsala High School traveled to Felling Trailers and gave a demonstration of the robot that the team built and competed with earlier that year. Each year. the team competes in the FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) Robotics Competition (FRC), where they play with and against other teams to accomplish a task. The game usually consists of two alliances, each made of multiple teams. The game changes every season, introducing different concepts of scoring and playing.

During their visit, the UC-Botics team explained the process they went through to come up with their competition robot. Throughout a 6-week period, teams consisting of high school students, coaches and mentors work together to build a robot. Teams are given a standard set of parts; they are also allowed a budget and are encouraged to buy, make or recycle parts from previous robot builds.

“We started from scratch this time around,” said Curtis Robertson, the UC-Botics team’s instructor.

“It’s a team effort all the way. Everyone plays a part in the construction of the robot. There’s a lot of brainstorming and trial and error,” said one of the team members.

Some participants excel when it comes to the programming side and, for others, engineering and construction.

“The opportunity that our area robotics teams provide to the students, to work and create together and compete with other teams to solve a common problem in an ever-changing environment, is so valuable. The ingenuity, creativity and teamwork that programs like this inspire in students is priceless,” said Jennissen.


ABOUT FELLING TRAILERS, INC.

Felling Trailers is a family owned and operated Full Line Trailer Manufacturer located in Central Minnesota. Started in 1974, Felling Trailers, Inc. has grown from a small shop to a factory and office complex that today covers over 325,000 square feet. For more information, contact 1.800.245.2809, sales@felling.com or visit them on the web at www.felling.com.