Re: What machines are you using? (CNC, lathes, mills, 3-in-1 machines?)
I never meant to say that your students should not build the robot. I was lucky enough to work with a team that had a machine shop at the school, and a parent who is a professor of machining at two community colleges. The students on our team learned how to use the lathe, the bandsaw, the mill, the grinder, etc.
When I said that you might be able to get them to come help out, I meant they might be willing to come guide the kids in safely using the equipment in the most efficient manner. How many of your students know what a chip breaker is? I'm sure any machinist worth anything will know that term. After all, a chip breaker is a more efficient way to remove large amounts of material on a lathe rather than using a standard single point tool. I wish I had known that *last* year when I was doing just this task!
Congrats on getting the district to be so supportive and impressed.