U.S. Department of Agriculture

Williamburg native crafts USDA robots at VMI

Williamburg native crafts USDA robots at VMI

A Williamsburg native is using robots to fight a small terror with wide-reaching consequences: cattle ticks.

The battle against cattle ticks has raged for years, but populations have multiplied since the early 1990s, according to a Virginia Military Institute news release. VMI won a contract to build a robot to target the blood-suckers, and tasked five cadets with building the machine this semester.

Edward Olbrych, who began his college career at Thomas Nelson Community College, led the cadets. He's set to graduate VMI in 2018.

"I really like these sorts of start-up type projects," Olbrych said. "I've always been interested in engineering and computers —...