S&T robot ready to roam

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On June 4, 2013
Photo by Bob Phelan.

Photo by Bob Phelan.

A team of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology has designed and built a fully operational robotic vehicle. The waterproof droid is powered by two 60-pound batteries and runs on student-programmed software.

The S&T Robotics Competition Team and its autonomous machine, christened “S&T Enterprise,” will compete against universities from around the country at the 21st annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition, held June 7-June 10, at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich.

The competition requires the team to design and manufacture a fully self-sufficient robotic vehicle that can navigate outdoor terrain, deal with any obstacles that appear on a given course and use its onboard laser and camera guides to complete tasks.

While in Rochester, the team will compete in four challenges. Each team will give an oral presentation about the robot, complete an outdoor obstacle course and a navigation challenge, and demonstrate full compatibility with the Joint Architecture for Unmanned Systems (JAUS) standards.

Every part of the “S&T Enterprise,” aside from the electrical pieces, is student made. This year, the team has welded the frame out of aluminum tubing. The robot’s two batteries supply 2.52 kilowatts of power. It features damping suspension, fully enclosed gearboxes and a new navigation algorithm.

“The team began in 2004 and has participated in the IGVC since then,” explains team president Joseph Baleta. “The team has students from all disciplines and years in school.”

Dr. Donald Wunsch, the Mary K. Finley Missouri Distinguished Professor of Computer Engineering in electrical and computer engineering at S&T, is the Robotics Competition Team faculty advisor. Baleta, a junior in mechanical engineering from Grandview, Mo., leads more than 30 students on the team.

For more information about the competition, visit its website at http://www.igvc.org/.

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On June 4, 2013. Posted in Student Life

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