I would like to share an email we received from one of our Hall-Dale juniors, Sam Minor. It's a story that inspires hope for the future in the young people who comprise the REM Delta Prime Robotics team. Thank you Sam and the entire team!
My name is Sam Minor, I'm a member of the REM Delta Prime Robotics team here in RSU 2. We wanted to let you know about some things that are going on with our organization. You may have seen us mentioned recently in the CDC discussion with Dr. Shaw today. Our team is very excited about being able to help the community and we'd like to share this with the RSU.
We are writing to let you know how the REM Delta Prime Robotics team has been helping first responders and healthcare workers acquire scarce personal protective equipment (PPE). The robotics team is based in the RSU2 area with students from 5 different high schools. Under normal circumstances, this spring, we would have been competing with our 120 pound robot in competitions throughout New England; the game and rules change every year, and a new robot is built and programmed. This year the normal spring competition season was cut short by the pandemic. We’ve been missing our friends too, including the 2 other robotics teams across Maine.
In the midst of that disappointment, our build co-captain Claire McBride came up with 3d printing as a possible way we could help. We shifted our focus to using the resources available to students and mentor staff on our team and began collaborating with other community volunteers to find a way to produce PPE. We have been working with open source designs shared on the NIH 3D Printing Exchange, a hub for 3d models that have been reviewed and approved by the NIH.
We began with “ear saver” straps for surgical mask wearers, but have shifted to face shields as the large need became apparent. After requests for face shields started coming in, we asked our local communities for help and were able to bulk purchase the materials we would need to continue the effort in a more sustained manner. There was a truly amazing response around the Kennebec Valley and beyond, both with monetary and in kind donations of tools and materials. We will now be able to keep up production of a bit over 100 units a day, hopefully until the industrial supply chains can catch up. To date, we have been able to donate about 2000 ear savers and about 1300 face shields to emergency management in various Maine counties, as well as health care workers. We are very excited that the Maine CDC has now placed two orders with us, the first for 350 face shields and just recently they requested an additional 650. At the press briefing on Monday, May 11, Dr. Shah, the Maine CDC Director thanked the Delta Prime robotics team and displayed one of the face shields that the team produced.
Although we are doing this together, alone, from our own homes, we are also not alone. We are coordinating with other local volunteers who are printing at home with us: Jason Mills of Monmouth, Tim McGlothin of Topsham, and Jeff Munson of Topsham who is also a robotics teacher at Kent’s Hill School are working with us every day, and we appreciate Kent’s Hill School for letting Jeff have access to three 3D printers for the project. We have had support from many community members and businesses to make this project possible and it has truly turned into a community project. We are proud to be able to provide this PPE to healthcare workers and other first responders who are working so hard to protect others in our community. Many have reached out to express tehir thanks, in particular, we were very pleased to get a thank you on Facebook from Heritage Rehabilitation & Living Center in Winthrop. Alice Smith, a former Delta Prime parent herself worked with us on the testing of our initial products:
Heritage Rehabilitation & Living Center
May 8 at 3:00 PM ·
A BIG Thank You to REM Delta Prime Robotics Club of RSU #2 for the generous donation of 3D printed ear saver straps and face shields!
Anyone that would like to find out more about what our team is doing, or wants to help may contact us through our website: https://www.deltaprimerobotics.com/covid19