Clay High student recalls third-place finish at state science fair

By Nick Blank nick@claytodayonline.com
Posted 5/18/22

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Robotics is a complex field and the benefit of assisting people – whether it’s lifting heavy items, disposing of hazardous waste or supporting what people eat – does seem …

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Clay High student recalls third-place finish at state science fair

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Robotics is a complex field and the benefit of assisting people – whether it’s lifting heavy items, disposing of hazardous waste or supporting what people eat – does seem limitless.

A Clay High senior who recently finished third at the State Science Fair in Lakeland reflected on his accomplishment and his robotics-related project. Lucas Knutsen said his task was designing a robot to help people, but it had to be cost-effective.

The title of his project is “Lending a Hand.” With his robot, a person could use a joystick to move the food around, he said.

“The goal was to see if robotics can help people with disabilities be able to complete tasks more independently. My engineering goal was to make a cost-efficient robot that will help people be able to eat,” Knutsen added. “I was able to make a robotic arm that is able to pick up and deliver food to a person’s mouth.”

During his tests of the robot, he successfully retrieved the food and delivered it to the right position 80% of the time, he said. That accuracy propelled Knutsen to a high finish when it came to the state finals.

Another one of his goals is getting his age group interested in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics field, he said, though representing the county was a plus.

“It was an absolute honor to be able to represent the Clay County Schools District on a state level,” Knutsen said. “It was also a huge honor to represent my family, church, school and community.”

Competing against thousands of others, Knutsen called the overall experience overwhelming. But it was worth it, he said. The focus is now graduation right around the corner.

“I came home with third place. When I graduate, I plan on pursuing electrical engineering and to make robots that will help people with disabilities,” Knutsen said. “This project proved to me that I can definitely have a successful career in the field of STEM.”

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