Colorado School of Mines’ Robot Pentathlon team made history on March 18, 2017, becoming the first team from Mines to win the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ E-Fest West Student Design Competition.
|The Mines Robot Pentathlon team competes in the stair climbing competition at E-Fest West.|
Mines undergraduate students Daniel Schmerge, a sophomore in mechanical engineering; Jacob Aas, a junior in physics and mechanical engineering; and John Wiens, a freshman in electrical engineering and computer science, competed against 10 other teams at the conference, which took place at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Their remote-controlled robot competed in five different events designed to test its speed, strength and ability, and the technical design skills of its creators: stair climbing, weightlifting, sprinting, throwing a tennis ball and hitting a golf ball. The team walked away with wins in the stair climb, weightlifting and throwing events, as well as the overall championship.
“It was cool to see how all the other teams went about solving the individual challenges, especially because several teams used mechanisms we had considered but ultimately decided against,” said Schmerge. “It's really beneficial for us to be able to observe how they performed without needing to test them ourselves. Just because we won doesn't mean there isn't a better way.”
The team members, who are all in the Mines Robotic Club and worked in collaboration with the Mines student chapter of ASME, began working on their design in early October. Following the win, the team will now head to the World ASME Conference this November in Tampa, Fla., where they will compete against the top teams from other regional E-Fests. They plan on making significant improvements to their current design before the competition.
"Daniel, Jacob and John are amazing at what they do and I've learned a lot from them. All the hard work and long nights paid off!” said Nhan Tran, president of the Mines Robotics Club. “Being surrounded with the robotics enthusiasts, creative engineers and passionate Minds of Mines like these three as well as other members of Mines Robotics Club inspires me every day!”
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