Remembering Kyle Smart

This week we received the sad news that we had lost a member of our Linn-Mar Robotics family. Kyle Smart passed away on Wednesday. Kyle was a 2010 Linn-Mar graduate who was very active with LM Robotics during his high school years. After graduating, he completed Kirkwood’s CAD program and stayed active as a robotics mentor all the way through to 2015.

Kyle had lots of mechanical design talent, and he knew all kinds of things about robots, cars, planes, and a whole variety of assorted esoteric mechanisms. His design ideas, such as the hanging system in our 2010 machine,  can be found in many of our robots. Kyle was well known to have advanced CAD skills, and he put them to use early and often as a member of our team. He submitted a highly detailed full CAD model of our 2009 robot as an award submission, and as time passed he shifted into more of a CAD mentoring role. Kyle had lots of design ideas for any robot game that anybody could ever design, and he was convincing and persistent enough to talk our FRC and FTC teams into adopting some of those ideas.

Aside from mechanical expertise, Kyle also involved himself in the business aspects of our program. He had lots of ideas for connecting with sponsors, organizing the team, and reaching out to the community.

The 2010 FRC robot was the one that Kyle drove while representing our team in official FIRST competitions that year. It featured a climbing system, designed primarily by Kyle, with a telescoping arm and detaching hooks. Our team had devised a Sony PlayStation controller scheme, with the approval from the head director of FRC, that worked within Kyle’s physical capabilities. The following year, we noticed that a new official rule, <G14>, had been added to the book. Perhaps Kyle helped to pave the way for this rule, which opens up many possibilities to provide physical accommodations for robot drivers who would otherwise be unable to compete.

Anybody who had classes with Kyle or worked with him on the LM Robotics team likely remembers him as a very persistent and strong willed person! I enjoyed and admired Kyle’s tenacity, and I will fondly remember his excellent dry sense of humor.
Kyle will be missed. Please keep Kyle’s family (Joel, Teresa, and Dustin) and friends in your thoughts.
A visitation will be held from 1:00-5:00 PM on Sunday, 8/30/15  at Murdoch’s Funeral Home in Marion. The funeral will be held on Monday, 8/31/15  at 10:30 AM, also at Murdoch’s Funeral Home.

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