The truth is Josh’s first venture into college didn’t go very well. As an undeclared major, he lacked passion and bounced around from major to major. Ultimately he left college to work as a preschool teacher, private music instructor, and eventually as a spa repair technician where he said he began to think like an engineer for the first time.
Five years after he dropped out of college, Josh discovered that ASU offered an engineering degree with a specialization in robotics and immediately enrolled.
During his first semester he learned about the Rossum Rumblers Robotics student organization and by his second semester he was the president. Under Josh’s direction the org grew from twelve to an active roster of 50 members, and boasts partnerships with Microchip, Coroware Robotics, Intel and Freescale.
As president, Josh oversees the Rossum Rumblers Robotics “Hack-a-thons” where twice a semester more than 50 students gather to design and build new technologies and devices from start to finish in just 48 hours.
As a sophomore Josh worked as a undergraduate teaching assistant for an introductory robotics course and as a team member of a human-robotic interaction research project where he helped write proposals for the National Robotics Initiative, part of the National Science foundation. His first foray into undergraduate research came when Josh enrolled in an independent study course to study artificial intelligence by teaching computer programs how to play video games.
Now a junior, Josh conducts multidisciplinary research in the area of human robot interactions as part of the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative (FURI).
Working with psychologists and computer science students, his team is developing a series of experiments to analyze how people interact with artificial agents—like the voice in your GPS—in social situations. This research aims to better understand how the human mind reacts to artificial social cues.
Most recently, Josh developed 3dCycler, a start-up company based on an innovative new device that creates 3-D printable filament out of recyclable materials. He pitched his entrepreneurial idea at ASU’s Launch Day where he earned first place, $3,000 in seed funding and access to office space in ASU’s Skysong facility.
Josh accomplished all of this while working remotely for Coroware Robotic Solutions to develop educational materials and marketing content for their new line of educational robotic solutions—known as the Corobot Spark. Josh’s advice for new students or students returning to college is to make connections and find your passion.
“The encouraging faculty at The Polytechnic School really helped me to get back on the right track,” said Josh. “And finding your place in the community through student organizations and programs like FURI is invaluable.”
In addition to the fact that “robots are cool,” Josh said robotics engineering is one of the most inclusive and well-rounded engineering degrees.
“You learn electrical and mechanical engineering, and so much more.”
“Plus, the demand for robotics and embedded systems engineers is on the rise as our world becomes significantly more automated and integrated. As an engineering student with a focus in robotics you are constantly on the forefront of developing technologies.”
Josh is set to graduate—with not just a degree, but his own start-up company—in spring 2017.