Paul works closely with other businesses to source the materials that make up each exhibition, and sub-contract the components which can't be made within the Scitech workshop. Paul generally loves making 'stuff' and will talk about it for hours on end.
"I'm in charge of the exhibition construction process from beginning to end. All our exhibits need to meet a certain durability grade. This is a common rule we follow in the science world. Durability grades range from domestic through to light industrial then to mining and finally to science centres – which shows you just how durable the science centre equipment needs to be! Years of experience have taught us to anticipate what kids will bend and break, and which buttons will get pushed thousands of times a day. Believe it or not, learning to approach an exhibit from an excited child's perspective is sometimes our biggest challenge!"
With over 14 years experience tinkering with electronics and animatronics, Rodney burst onto the Scitech scene...head-first. After creating an animatronics head for Scitech's Roboctober, he quickly rose to fame around our corridors and was soon taken on full-time in the workshop as our 'Exhibition Technician.'
"I have been interested in electronics, robots and making stuff since I was five years old stemming from shows like Dr Who and the Terminator! It wasn't until I worked on an animatronics Lion project for MGM Grand Casino that I started to look at making a career out of my hobby. I now work at Scitech as part of a team of technicians that put exhibitions together. I love the enjoyment you get from the design process, taking an idea from a concept on a piece of paper through to finished product where it comes alive. I certainly don't have a Frankenstein Complex (a fear of Mechanical Men)."
So far the duo have knocked together the following prototypes from recycled, low-cost parts:
Bomb disposal robot
5 x mini-robots, plus lots more robotics to follow
Egg-bot – designs
Make-a-bot 3D printer
Want to try making one of these creations?
Check out the Scitech page on the Instructables website and have a go this weekend!
Scitech's mission is to increase awareness, interest, capability and participation by all Western Australians in science, technology, engineering and mathematics