Jonathan Daudelin, Author, Athlete and Engineer
He Builds Amazing Robots, Writes Best-Selling Books and Runs Fast
When he was a boy, Jonathan Daudelin spent endless hours building LEGO robots. He was home-schooled and his parents thought his incessant building would one day do him good.
They were right.
At 13, Jonathan formed a robotics team with friends that took first prize at the FIRST LEGO League World Festival. In high school, he built dozens of robots, such as a robotic ATM machine, a bionic glove and a roving robot that collects hockey pucks and deposits them in a goal.
Jonathan became so well known in robotics that a writer asked him to co-author a book about the NXT robotics system. He agreed and their book became a bestseller in robotics on Amazom.com. He later co-authored three more books on robotics. He also contributes to the NXT Step Blog.
During middle school, Jonathan attended MathCounts, a math competition at NJIT. While here, he learned that students who scored 1,500 on the SAT (in math and reading) get scholarships to NJIT. So in eighth grade he took the SAT; he scored 1,200. He retook the test in his senior year and scored 1,500. That score earned him a full scholarship to the Albert Dorman Honors College, where he’s now a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering.
Scholar, Athlete, Designer
He’s a scholar athlete with a designing mind. He has a 4.0 grade point average and competes on NJIT's track team. His personal best in the mile, his favorite event, is 4:43. Working with a team of NJIT students, he also designed this year's Creative Design Challenge, a high school robot competition hosted by Panasonic. He designed the obstacles and tasks that teams' robots must overcome and he also created a prototype robot to test the challenge.
NJIT, he says, is perfect for him: a strong engineering college with lots of robotic activity across the curriculum. This semester, he’s looking forward to taking classes in his major, mechanical engineering, that focus on design and building. He is also plans to do research in robotics. And he interviewed recently at nearby Picatinny Arsenal for an internship in military robotics, the field he hopes to specialize in.
He dorms in Redwood Hall with his brother David, a junior in the Honors College who majors in computer science. Jonathan is one of 10 children, all of whom were homeschooled. At NJIT, with at least one of his siblings by his side, he’s happy. “I’m really enjoying myself here,” says Jonathan, smiling widely. “NJIT offers a variety of opportunities, both academically and socially, and it’s preparing me well for a career in robotics.”
(By Robert Florida, Office of Strategic Communications)