TCNJ students won first place at this year’s American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) 2013 International Design and Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC) in the Robotics undergraduate division. The conferences were held in Portland, Oregon from August 4th-7th. These annual competitions are an excellent opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students to showcase their talents and abilities in front of respected and world-renowned experts in mechanism design from academia and industry. Submissions are judged on the basis of creativity, practicality, integrity of analysis and design methodology, and quality of a fabricated prototype and a final report.
The TCNJ students who were involved and who helped construct the prototype are as follows. Robert Richardson (ME), Michael Bower (ME), Devon Hall (ME), Julianne Rudmann (ME), Christopher Graf (ECE), and Matthew Lubaszka (ECE). The project advisors were Dr. Jennifer Wang (ME) and Dr. Orlando Hernadez (ECE).
Michael Bower and Robert Richardson represented their team project, titled Remote Control Robotic Firefighting System at the ASME International Design and Engineering Technical Conferences. Their project was to design, manufacture, and test a robot capable of assisting firefighters in scouting and extinguishing interior building fires. The robot is controlled wirelessly and has a wireless camera that sends a video feed to the operator. The design is divided into five major components: the drivetrain, the extinguishing system, the frame, the wireless controls, and interior electronics. A physical prototype was successfully built and tested to demonstrate the proposed design. The prototype is capable of climbing stairs and navigating various terrains in addition to directing the fire extinguisher’s propellant through the use of a pitch variable nozzle. Other features include a piezoelectric speaker and a mounted strobe light to provide visual and audio cues to alert a trapped fire victim of the robot’s presence.
Robert Richardson expressed how exceptional this experience was for himself and his team. Robert stated, “I personally enjoyed seeing some of the breakthrough technologies being developed in the different industries, and even viewing demonstrations at many of the presentations. The whole experience was very educational and winning 1st place was a huge honor for us”.