Emilie Rusch

Autonomous water drone takes first place in Spring 2020 Capstone Design Showcase

Mines students designed the Autonomous Surface Vehicle for use by Pinyon Environmental in freshwater reservoirs around Denver
Autonomous Surface Vehicle in the water

A water vehicle capable of autonomously collecting ecological data from freshwater reservoirs is the winner of the Spring 2020 Capstone Design Showcase.

The Autonomous Surface Vehicle, a twin-propeller, battery-powered catamaran capable of being programmed or manually controlled via radio, would ferry a sensor payload between user-defined waypoints in a water reservoir. Currently, Pinyon Environmental Inc., the project’s client, must conduct those measurements manually around the Denver area, with a pair of engineers in a rowboat.

Forming the winning team were Kendrick Au, Alex Fryer, Evan Lim, Alec Mullen, Walter Pennington and TomHenry Reagan. The students were tasked with implementing propulsion, steering and guidance systems for the ASV, as well as improving an existing prototype hull and data collection system created by a 2018 Capstone Design team.

Tying for second place in the virtual Spring 2020 competition were Formidable Mouse and Optimizing for Additive Manufacturing No. 2.

Formidable Mouse, a student-initiated project supported by Bud Rockhill of Traxion, created a highly customizable computer mouse with an exterior shell that users can mold to their own hands to increase comfort. Team members were Tyler Bacon, Cole Boyd, Gabriel de Souza and Jacob Humphrey.

Sponsored by Milwaukee Tool, Optimizing for Additive Manufacturing’s goal was to take an existing product, manufactured by Milwaukee Tool and originally optimized for traditional manufacturing methods, and alter its design such that it would be optimized for additive manufacturing. Team members were Mitchell Keeler, Christian Tello, Mitchell Halloran, Nathan Jantzen, Forrest Long, Eric Smoorenburg and Douglas Meredith.

Winning third place was Sip and Puff Wheelchair Training Suite, sponsored by Craig Hospital, a low-cost, user-friendly training suite that allows patients to become comfortable with the commands and performance of a sip-and-puff wheelchair before getting their own chair. Team members were Benjamin Hoppes, Adam Morgan, Daryus Patel and Allison Tanner.

Capstone projects were also recognized for their innovation, societal impact, proof of concept and websites:

Best of Award for Innovation:  RockSat-X, sponsored by Colorado Space Grant Consortium

  • Team members: Bri Treffner, Bradley Jesteadt, Nik Geschwentner, Kaylee Cuyler, Mark Gilliland, Graham Braly and Brandon Hinkle

Best of Award for Societal Impact: EV Wireless Charger using Recycled Materials, sponsored by NREL’s Ahmed Mohamed

  • Team Members: Jacob Blahovec, Dylan Cholak, Colin Dubnik, Ian Durgin, Jacquelene Erickson, Elenya Grant, Timothy Ludwig, Dane Van Tol

Best of Award for Proof of Concept: Automated Trimming Process Dog Toy Manufacturing #2, sponsored by Kong Company.

  • Team Members: Lucas Ciacco, Bailey Hall, Curtis Robbins, Taron Ruzanski, Blake Simpson and Anthony Spallino

Best of Award for Website Design & Engagement (tie): AISC Steel Bridge Team 2, sponsored by Kiewit; and Adaptive Seating System for Use on Sleds (Human Centered Design Studio), sponsored by Tamra Logan.

  • Steel Bridge Team Members: Clara Berner, James Doyle, Eli Evers, Gabriel Hegarty, Neil Isales Jr. and Hayley Siedlik
  • Adaptive Sled Seating Team Members: Naya Ziegler, Margaux Wheeler, Gabe Maestas, Griffin Stanton, Ryan Meraux and Nick Gardner

The Spring 2020 Broader Impact Essay winners were:

  • First place (tie):  TomHenry Reagan for The Case Against Facial Recognition” and Gabriel De Souza for “The Sad World in Your Back Pocket”
  • Second Place: Dominique Vogel for “Impacting Developing Cultures to Create Effective Medical Devices”
Emilie Rusch

Emilie Rusch

Director of Communications
About Mines
Colorado School of Mines is a public R1 research university focused on applied science and engineering, producing the talent, knowledge and innovations to serve industry and benefit society – all to create a more prosperous future.