Engineering team designs path to success
In just seven years, UIC’s Chicago Engineering Design Team has gone from not qualifying for the annual Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition to beating out some of the top universities in the nation.
It’s the team’s drive and dedication that’s pushed them to succeed — snagging second place for robot design at the competition over the summer, said team president Jasen Massey.
“Over the years we’ve seen progression in our standing and our competitions,” said Massey, a graduate student in engineering. “We’ve gotten better every single year.”
This year’s participants were challenged to build a robot that could complete an outdoor obstacle course, independent of an operator. The national engineering competition, held at Oakland University in Michigan, had more than 40 university robotics teams in attendance, including the Georgia Institute of Technology, Yale University, University of Texas and California State University.
The team streamlined their electrical designs, did an overhaul on the brains of their robot and made mechanical design changes to create a sleek, efficient design. Those improvements helped them make the jump from third in robotic design in 2013 to second just a year later.
The best part about designing robots is seeing designs come to life, Massey said.
“It goes from just being an idea to a completed project,” he said. “It’s a really good time.”
The team has 60 members, working on robots for three national competitions. Up next is the Jerry Sanders Design Competition in March.
Massey encourages all students to join the fun, no matter their major. “It’s a great learning opportunity,” he said. “You’ll learn about engineering, machine tools and how to project manage.”
The team accepts members throughout the year. Students interested in joining can email ChicagoEDT@live.com