Thursday, December 12, 2013
Engineering Senior Design Competition
The capstone senior design class for engineering students is comprised of teams of mechanical, computer, and electrical engineering majors collaborating on a working robotic model. This year, the teams were asked to create an autonomous device that can run a slalom course through 6-8 small orange plastic cones. Time and accuracy around the cones and back, as well as the cost of creating the project are scoring factors for the competition.
Aside from the competition, teams are required to create a final written report, explaining how their project uses applicable professional engineering standards, what impact it could have on society, who potential customers could be, reliability and aesthetics, among other factors.
Evan Fischer, mechanical engineering major and project manager for the team based out of OU INC, says that there are many skills that come out of working on this project, such as team building, collaborating on implementing pieces like perception systems for the device, controlling its movements and motor skills. While the project is demanding for students, both time and energy-wise, Fischer believes that this is a good experience.
The teams understand the possibilities of autonomous devices, and think that this project will be beneficial to them as they seek jobs. “This a specifically purposed device, but that fact that we are able to make it, and at a fairly low cost is significant,” Fischer says.
The team presented their projects the last week of classes, then each robotics team competed on Monday, December 9, 2013 in the courtyard between the Science and Engineering Building and Dodge Hall.