Hi, my name is Thomas Orr and I’m studying a Bachelor of Information Technology, majoring in Application Development. What sparked my interest in IT and App Creation was actually the robotics competitions that CQUniversity holds annually.
During high school I participated in the event as a part of an extended learning class, which gave me the opportunity to see what it was all about. Our first robot was never the most technologically advanced, nor was it the fastest or most reliable, but the atmosphere and the people I met at the event were what attracted me to it. Every year since then, I have strived to build a better robot; constantly being challenged with the physical limitations our robots had, turning from just a hobby to something that I would practice during lunch breaks.
The robots I started with; the LEGO MINDSTORMS RCX, were nothing like what the robotics kits available today. Like, In the last few years I’ve moved from just participating to refereeing for the rescue section. I’ve seen robots powered by Arduino’s and Raspberry Pi’s; platforms that are programmed in languages many times more complicated and higher precision than the LEGO Mindstorms kits I ever used.
It’s the constant changes and technological advancements, and improved abilities in robotics that keeps me coming back. The robotics competitions gave me a chance to feel as if I’m helping the next generation in how to use the technology of the future.
Studying a Bachelor of Information Technology gives me the chance to study what I love, it supports my learning style and the chance to meet new people and make friends like the ones I found in my robotics competitions. The way the IT world is shaping and evolving, you think you’re going to do one thing, then discover that there’s something else in the field you’re studying that you could possibly enter the next day.
My best advice to anyone wanting to enter Information Technology or Mechatronics, is to have an open mind and check robotics out in real life at event like the Robotics Challenge.