Fourteen-year-old Camille Beatty and her family, Robert (Dad) and eleven-year-old sister Genevieve, build robots because they love the fusion of creative design, electronics, metal machining, and software programming. Located in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, Camille and her family work in a little workshop in their garage. Genevieve and Camille started out when they were 8 and 10 years old. Genevieve does most of the electrical soldering and wiring on the robots. Camille loves machining metal. They both work on the mechanical assembly work, refinement, and testing. Robert orders the parts, keeps the projects moving forward, and fills-in wherever needed, but in general, the girls do most of the work. Hands-on. That’s what keeps them engaged and happy. Soldering. Machining. Assembly. Electronic wiring.
They build the robots, they make component parts from scratch (with their homemade CNC Mill and other tools), or they buy the component parts from various sites on the Internet, and/or hack the parts out of other things (they love voiding warranties!). When they started out, they didn’t know anything about building robots. They didn’t know how to use power tools, operate a vertical mill, or even use a soldering iron. One of the main things they've learned is that if you can imagine it, then you can do it — whatever it is.
Recently, they’ve begun building custom robots for museums. They also design and build prototype robots for part manufacturers. This past Summer Camille and her family built eight museum robots over the summer, which also turned out to be an excellent lesson in entrepreneurialism. Who needs a paper route when you can start a robotics company?