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October 5, 2011


Over 250 freshman engineering students working in teams of two or three students will participate in the 2011 Freshman Engineering Design

Challenge on October 8 from noon – 3:00 pm in the main swimming pool at Corbett Hall.  The course is required of all freshmen entering engineering to help transition them to the University and College environment.

The 2011 challenge is to create a tethered autonomous robotic device powered by various motors, elastic bands, or other mechanical systems, that will retrieve a

marker or “weight” from the bottom of Corbett pool. Each team must have at least two underwater robots and two surface robots for the challenge and all robots must be designed, fabricated, and tested prior to this final challenge. All robots are made from scratch, without premade materials, but can be powered by any device, elastic bands, electric motors, or other mechanical apparatus.

The design challenge, organized by Dr. Charles Dolan, H.T. Person Chair in the College of Engineering and Applied Science, will give the freshmen class their first taste of engineering design. The challenge also provides an opportunity for freshmen engineering students to apply team work, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, ethics, safety, and innovative designs related to their field in engineering or applied science.

On the day of the challenge, the robots will be placed at the edge of the pool and released by the group members. Each robot must function autonomously, without being touched by a group member, while operating other than from the control panel. Each group will have ten minutes to set up the robot and retrieve the weight. Each weight is tethered to a ping pong ball with a number. Retrieval must be for the specifically numbered ball assigned to the group to be successful in the challenge.

The event is open to the public. For further details about this and other design challenges, please contact the College at (307) 766-4253.


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