Returning Argus Intern Brings Passion for Drones and Robotics to the Future of Engineering
From April 2 to 10, we recognize National Robotics Week to inspire students in robotics and STEM-related fields.
Robots and automation are becoming engrained in nearly every industry, including engineering. Argus uses digital engineering to survey, collect, visualize, manage, calculate, and analyze the data associated with the infrastructure we serve. Our team members are continuing to seek out and customize the latest technologies available that help us design, model, build, and support sustainable solutions that keep our world moving.
It takes a team with diverse skill sets, backgrounds, and experiences to help us deliver modern problem solving and industry innovations to our clients. That’s why we love working with bright and motivated interns like Trey Breshears. Trey is in his junior year at Missouri S&T studying Computer Engineering, and his favorite on-campus activity is serving as chief executive officer of the university’s Multirotor Robot Design Team.
Trey has spent two previous summers with Argus in the electrical and controls engineering department. This summer, he will intern with the company’s software subsidiary, SAIM LLC.
In honor of National Robotics Week, we asked Trey to tell us why he’s passionate about robotics, his advice to students wishing to pursue a career in STEM, and what keeps him coming back to Argus summer after summer.
You’re 22 years old, and you own your own drone company. Where did your passion for drones and robotics begin?
Yes, I do have my own drone company. I do mostly photography, but I’ve also done a little bit of photogrammetry. My interest in it started when I was in middle school. My parents bought me one of those Air Hogs helicopters, and I’d fly that thing around the house and crash into all of mom’s expensive decorations. Then when I was about 16 years old, I got my first real drone with four propellers and a reasonable range to fly around and do some cool stuff outside. My passion just took off from there.
And now, you get to pursue that passion in college through the Multirotor Robot Design Team. How did that experience come about, and what do you love most about it?
While I was in high school, I went on a campus tour at Missouri S&T. As I was walking through the atrium, someone asked me, “Hey, do you like drones?” And I was sold on the school immediately.
Our team is given a challenge at the beginning of each year. We work on it all school year and then come together with teams from around the world in the summer to compete. I’m more of a big picture kind of person, so I’ve worked my way through different roles on the team. I started in a hands-on role by building the drones. Last year I was the team’s financial officer, and this year, I’m the team CEO. So, my job has moved more from putting the screws in and charging batteries to strategy and goal setting. Putting the big puzzle pieces together is one of the most awesome things about the team.
I love our testing days, too. We get to come together every Saturday to test our hard work. When you see the robot you have built from the ground up doing something all by itself, it brings a great sense of excitement and pride.
What’s the connection between engineering and robotics?
Engineers are great problem solvers, and problem-solving is what I love about robotics. Robots don’t know how to do anything. A robot is just a bunch of metal and plastic put together in a very intricate way. It doesn’t know anything. If your robot is building a tower, you have to teach it what to make. You have to teach it what a block looks like and how to locate and pick up the block. That problem-solving aspect of understanding that the machine knows nothing and teaching it how to build up those skills is the most important part of robotics anywhere.
You’ve already spent a work-study and an internship with Argus Consulting. What keeps you coming back to the company?
The company culture. You get to build genuine relationships with people. It’s not about trying to climb the corporate ladder and scrambling to get your work done. At Argus, people truly care about the projects they’re working on. Because Argus is a smaller company, you get to see the bigger picture of each of your projects, not just work on one little part. The personal relationships with coworkers and leadership are what keep me coming back.
How can you leverage your experience with drones and robotics into your internship with SAIM this summer?
The drone industry is massive and continuing to grow. New technology and applications are expanding rapidly, even on a day-to-day basis. With SAIM’s digital twin capabilities quickly capturing data of a high-quality scan from drones or LiDAR point cloud, it is just way more efficient than somebody walking around with a camera on a stick. I’m excited to put my knowledge into real-life business applications this summer with SAIM.
How do robots fit into the future of engineering and construction?
Robots have some very unique purposes. They do things that are too dangerous, dirty, or dull for humans. Robots enable people to move up into more of those problem-solving engineering-type roles. Having a drone do scans and certain inspections can save time and money and reduce hazardous risks to people. Robots enable us to increase our critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
The question of the week is… what is your advice for young people interested in pursuing a career in robotics or STEM?
Go and try everything that sounds fun, and you’re going to learn what interests you the most. STEM-related fields are growing so fast. There are a ton of places you can end up, and you can even create your own job if you have a good enough idea.
Learn more about internship and career opportunities at Argus and SAIM, LLC.
Check out what’s happening with the Missouri S&T Multirotor Design Team.