A Colorado State University team of mechanical engineering students recently placed third with their innovative robot at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Student Design Competition.
The winners, senior Ross Bulkley, junior Hannah Hudson and sophomores Matt Stallard and Jim Bettinghouse, financed their own entry into the competition, called WINROBO. The event took place at the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition in Boston at the end of 2008.
The remaining teams in the competition were comprised of senior design teams funded by their universities. Because they entered independently, the CSU team funded most of their trip and paid for the rest of the expenses out of pocket, including the robot.
CSU placed third behind Michigan State University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
"The design was based on our own thoughts and ideas," Stallard said.
The competition required each team to design a robot to assist those who use wheelchairs or have mobility problems. Student teams were challenged to build and demonstrate a robot that would wash a residential double-hung sash window autonomously without human intervention beyond placing the robot on the lowest window pane.
"We picked one of the most complex methods for climbing the window, but it probably was the most secure and versatile as far as being able to bridge the gap between the window panes," Hudson said.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers is a not-for-profit professional organization that promotes the art, science and practice of mechanical and multidisciplinary engineering and allied sciences throughout the world. The core values of ASME are rooted in its mission to better enable mechanical engineering practitioners to contribute to the well-being of humankind.