How would you spend your time if you were housebound for three months of your life?

This happened to Erica. A little over a year ago, Erica’s health got really bad. For three months she wasn’t able to leave the house, but she didn’t let that slow her down. Armed with only the internet and her housemate’s workshop, she YouTubed, Googled, and tinkered her way to creating amazing things. She spent this time making toys, learning the basics of coding, programming and electronics. She started with making a sonic screwdriver which worked as a TV remote, and a rupee night light, and ended up making her own business.

Now, her business The Creative Element helps local start-ups and entrepreneurs to invent, prototype and design their products from scratch.

The Creative Element also has an education programme designed to get more women into tech, by teaching skills in programming, VR and Engineering, and how to turn these skills into a small business.

But, Erica’s interest in technology lead her somewhere she never expected. She has also become a champion in the world of competitive combat robotics.

Erica went along to a competition and found it really interesting, but assumed she would never be able to do it herself. But when she got talking to the builders, she discovered that they come from a huge array of diverse backgrounds, from artists to prosthetic designers. 

“If all these people with weird backgrounds can do it, then maybe it’s not as hard as I thought it was”

Since then she earned her spot as the team captain for a TV show in America called BattleBots, and it’s the equivalent of the Olympics of combat robotics.

Her advice on how to get started in battle robotics:

“There is a community in Australia that is pretty strong at the moment so you can go to some of the sporting events or just jump online and have a chat with a few of the builders. Everyone’s really really welcoming! Even if you’re not an engineer or you have no understanding of how the robots work, everyone’s […] excited to have more people competing so everyone will help you out”.

“Try and get some motors running around on a chopping board […] and then just go from there”

 

 

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