U of M engineering students present largest robot show in Twin Cities

December 13, 2015

A 3D drawing robot, Towers of Hanoi solver, a Connect 4 player, and a magnet juggler, will be among more than 200 machines on display at the University of Minnesota Robot Show 2:40-4:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14, in the McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. S.E., Minneapolis.

The walk-through show is the largest collection of robots assembled in one place in the Twin Cities. The event is free and open to the public and is suitable for all ages.

The show is the culmination of six weeks of work for University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering students in the Introduction to Engineering class who created computer-controlled machines that “do something interesting and useful.” Students received a small kit of parts and could add no more than $50 worth of their own materials.

“In class, we provided the basics of design, robotics, sensing, and rapid prototyping,” said course instructor Tim Kowalewski, a University of Minnesota mechanical engineering assistant professor.  “Students were free to design anything they liked but had to build their robots from scratch.  They had to be really creative to apply what they learned to meet tight deadlines and cost constraints, just like real-world engineers.” 

The robots must act for no more than 60 seconds and have at least one moving part, but it is up to the students whether the unique machines do something useful (such as sorting coins or testing bike wheels) or exist solely to amuse and delight (like maze solver or piano player).

For more information on this event and photos from previous years, visit www.me.umn.edu/robotshow.

 

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