In 2004, four Arizona teenagers won the MATE
Underwater Robotics competition with a rover cobbled together from PVC pipe and spare parts. Three of the four winners were undocumented and risked deportation when they traveled to Santa Barbara to win MATE’s top prize. This month, their story gets the big-screen treatment in Spare Parts
, a film based on Wired
editor Joshua Davis’s 2005 reporting
on the team. Davis and one of the winning roboticists, Cristian Arcega
, join Ira to remember “Stinky”—the team’s winning bot—and reflect on how U.S. immigration policy is affecting the next generation of aspiring engineers.
Read an excerpt from the book that inspired the movie here
, and see the technical report for Stinky here