Polaris Industries Inc. has selected Patrick Henry High School student Jared Voight to accompany Polaris officials at the upcoming DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Finals to be held June 5-6, at the Fairplex, in Pomona, Calif. Voight will be able to write about his experiences on Polaris’ social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter.
“Polaris is excited to offer Jared the opportunity to represent Minnesota robotics students at the DARPA Robotics Challenge,” said David Longren, vice president of Off-Road and Off-Road Engineering for Polaris. “Jared’s enthusiasm for robotics made him the perfect candidate to accompany us at the event.”
Voight is currently a sophomore at Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis and is a member of the school’s FIRST Team 2500 Herobotics. A core mission of the team is to encourage young people to be science and technology leaders by building science, engineering and technology skills that inspire innovation. High school members of the team provide mentorship to middle school and grade school students across several regional states. This outreach of Patrick Henry students to younger people influences future generations of engineers to think critically about science, math and technology at a younger age. Voight has been a member of the team for two years and will be one of the three co-captains next year. Dylan Miracle, an engineering teacher at Patrick Henry, will accompany Voight on the trip.
“Representing Polaris at the DARPA Robotics Competition is the experience of a lifetime,” said Voight. “This is my first time ever having such an amazing opportunity, and having it be about robotics makes the trip even more phenomenal. I can use the skills I’ve learned in our school’s robotics program on this trip as I meet with some of the best robotics minds in the industry.”
The DARPA Robotics Challenge was created to spur development of robotic technology that can help humans to better respond to future disasters. The Challenge Finals will have robots perform a number of tasks in a continuous course, simulating what might be encountered in a real disaster situation. Polaris is providing DARPA with the company’s Ranger XP 900 EPS in one of the most difficult tasks, to help demonstrate a robot’s ability to operate and to egress from a vehicle. The Polaris Ranger XP 900 is one of the best-selling vehicles in its class and is widely used around the world with disaster-relief organizations such as the National Guard, Salvation Army and other first responders.