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Nerd alert: Genesis Rodriguez, robot-maker

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Geeks of the world, you're about to fall in love with Genesis Rodriguez. There's no point in resisting. The actress, appearing in Kevin Smith's totally insane "Tusk" this week, used to be part of an all-girl BattleBots team. Her words, not ours.

"We were an all-girls robotics team. We looked like we were kick-ass, cool-ass girls who had ribbons in their hair but were like, 'We're going to kick your ass!'" Rodriguez tells Metro. "We did competitions, like national competitions. We went to the Kennedy Space Center, we went to a convention in Oklahoma. I was involved with the pneumatics of the robot. I wasn't so much into getting the precise degree and cuts of angles and things, I was a welder."

Yes, welding. In fact, Rodriguez thinks women have the edge when it comes to that particular trade. "I think girls make better welders than men because we take time with our tacks and our welds, we're detailed and we make it look pretty," she says with a laugh. "It's fun. Just the smell of it is just… I love the oil. The light, it's hypnotizing. You could be there all day just looking at it. It's kind of cool. But yeah, building robots was super-awesome."

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Rodriguez acknowledges that when people first look at her, they might not immediately think "welding" and "robots," but that's their loss. "It's not something that you'd expect, but it was just a fun time. You're actually thinking something in your head and then executing it and actually seeing it done. I think it's just a really cool school program that should be promoted more. And you're having fun with your friends and working on a crocodile robot. How cool is that?

So what was it her kick-ass team created? "Basically, it was really a tough robot, a crocodile," she explains. "It was built at an angle, so it would come under you and just chomp you down into pieces and break you down. So even if you're a bigger robot in size, it could just scoop you from under — trip it and kill it."

And if robots aren't enough for you, she's also an avid Shark Week aficionado — something that helped her build more appreciation for the massive beast at the center of "Tusk," the walrus. "I was watching Shark Week this last time, and I realized that sharks do not mess with walruses. They don't," she says. "They have weapons, and they're just stronger. They could take down a shark. Also, octopi. They flip a wing of the shark, and once you flip a shark and put it upside down, that's it. They're immobilized. Sharks are so bad, [but] you just flip them over [or] punch them in the nose."

Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter: @nedrick

 
 
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