I’d like to share and hear about times you’ve used skills or techniques or technology you learned from FIRST to solve real-world issues, ESPECIALLY those which don’t appear to be STEM problems. I’ll start with two, both involving VersaFrame.
About six months ago, the local chapter of Family Promise, a charity which helps homeless families get back on their feet, bought a new trailer to transport beds. I did a bunch of work to get the trailer into usable shape, such as mounting the spare tire, building a shelf for smaller items, adding tie-down pads and so forth. When it came time to mount the license plate, I used a piece (about 10" long) of Versaframe Channel I had left over from last fall’s robot project; it was the perfect bracket for the job.
This summer, I’m again working with the Vacation Bible School/Arts Camp at my church. For the “big group project” this year, the desire was to build a cross woven of fabric scraps. (The painted-stone cross from two years ago is hanging on the east wall of the church, a bit to the right of the altar because it turned out so awesome.) Anyway, this project (a “loom”/framework so the kids could go to town being creative) went through a LOT of iterations in my mind (at least as many as some robots), and the framework will be made of four sticks of Vex VersaFrame (mostly 0.4", but some 1x1x0.1") fourteen (or more) pair of VF gussets, 100+ eye bolts from Bolt Depot, 200+ Rivets from Hansen Rivets, 100+ feet of 5/32" bungee cord custom-ordered from Home Depot, plus four nylon washers/spacers from Ace Hardware. If it weren’t for my robotics experience, this project would have turned out much differently.