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STEM students work on robotic vehicle
Manteca High senior Harshawn Singh displays the robotic vehicle at Thursday’s Manteca Unified STEM Summer Camp, Advanced Competitive Robotics. - photo by VINCE REMBULAT / The Bulletin

Harshawn Singh is the latest in line to advance the creation of a robotic vehicle started a few years ago.

The Manteca High senior is getting a jump on that by taking part in Manteca Unified School District STEM Summer Camp’s Advanced Competitive Robotics.

One of the goals for this project is for the vehicle to be autonomous driven or a programmed self-driving model car.

“So far it’s been a two-year process,” said teacher Doug Obrigawitch, who is better known as Mr. O.

Reuben Hurtado was the first to add touches to the vehicle by putting in a GPS system.

James Gallman took over last year. He installed a camera to the robotic vehicle, with the operator of the remote control having a ground-level view from the front end of the car while wearing the augmented reality goggles.

On Thursday, Mr. O noted that the car can actually be driven on any computer devices including a smart phone.

Some of the obstacles, according to Singh, in maneuvering the robotic go-anywhere car including the Wi-Fi dead spots on the MHS campus.

“We want to set it to go to Taco Bell (across the street from the MHS campus) and back,” said Obrigawitch.

Singh has been fascinated by robotics since he first took part in this STEM – acronym for Science Technology Engineering Mathematic – program as a freshman.

“It was Algebra 1 Robotics,” he said.

Singh isn’t the only student in this four-day STEM Summer Camp with know-how in this field. Luis Garcia and Carlos Kenneth Domingo are back. Both recently placed in a robotics competition held at Delta College.

Robotics is a field with many possibilities.

Singh recalled the time when his group turned a hubcap from a car into a drone. They came across the wheel piece off the side of the street and used various motors – plenty of trial and error, he said – to finally get the flying hubcap.

Problem solving is part of robotics.

“There are times in which we get stuck trying to trouble-shoot a problem,” Singh said.

But once that problem is solved, Singh, using a sports metaphor, said: “It’s like scoring a goal in soccer.”

He hopes to continue with robotics after graduating from MHS.

Singh’s dream is to attend the Robotic Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, the leader in robotics research and education located in Pittsburgh, Penn.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail