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First-year engineers excel at 23rd annual robot competition

Robots, and their excited student creators, invaded the Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC) on April 8 for The Ohio State University College of Engineering’s 23rd annual Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors robot competition.

The event is the culmination of a challenging semester-long design-and-build project for 322 first-year engineering honors students that put their new engineering skills to the test. 

This year’s competition simulated the work needed for unmanned robots to make an island research facility operational following volcanic activity. The fully autonomous robots had just two minutes to perform specific tasks, including initializing communications systems by adjusting an antenna, extracting a core sample from the volcanic rock and delivering it to a bin for processing, activating the system for collecting a lava sample, turning on a seismograph recorder, and returning to the protective bunker.

The robots were limited in size to a 9-square-inch footprint and constructed of various materials, including sheet metal, PVC, acrylic, plywood and Erector set components. Students write their own autonomous robot control software, which is loaded onto the small microcontroller used by each robot.

The single-elimination tournament competition pit 81 teams of first-year engineering honors students against one another to determine which student-built robot could best complete the required tasks. Teams were scored on design and how well their robots performed in individual and head-to-head runs. 

The overall winning team was made up of Michael Beiring, Hannah Ritter, Jacob Walasinski and Tim Walters, who each received a $250 scholarship thanks to Procter & Gamble’s corporate sponsorship. Other corporate sponsors included American Woodmark, ArcelorMittal, Delphi, Garmin, Harris, GE Aviation, Georgia-Pacific, Honda R&D Americas Inc., Nokia and Shell.

Other team competition awards:
Second place overall: Kyle DeBry, Mike Dumitrescu, Michael Fox and Broderick Lewis
Third place overall: Alex Jacobs, Michael Nose, Michael Von Der Vellen and Matthew Wiechec
Fourth place overall: Cara Custodio, Brian Kachala, Josh Lee and Becca Weiss

Outstanding achievement in engineering:
First place: Matthew Carlisle, Joseph Distler, Thomas Ellison and Austin Pick
Second place: Michael Farmer, Jared Frees, Jacob McCutcheon and Scott Wenninger
Third place: Robby Fehrenbach, Mike Gargasz, Mo Guisse and Cameron Sloan

Outstanding achievement in innovation:
First place: Owen Bryan, Dean Haleem, Stefan Kosanovic and Kyle Wells
Second place: Russel Ahsan, Mitch Clune, Michael Radey and Olivia Wolf
Third place: Kavya Balakrishnan, John Carr, Josh Laux and Spencer Sheehan

Hottest robot:
First place: Daniel Freyschlag, Chad Mustard, Andrew Toplak and William VanKirk
Second place: Mark Dickerhoof, Rachel Hunter-Rinderle, Nick LaManna and Danielle Morey
Third place: Carlton Allen, Carter Morris, Alex Olek and Christina Yang

Most consistent:
First place: Michael Beiring, Hannah Ritter, Jacob Walasinski and Tim Walters
Second place: Alex Jacobs, Michael Nose, Michael Von Der Vellen and Matthew Wiechec
Third place: Emily Gedeon, Aidan Matzko, Nicole Ruse and Elise Sebak

View more photos from the competition online.

Tags: Students