This competition marked the 20th year ATMAE has run its collegiate Student Division Robotics Competition. Unlike years past, this year teams were given an open design challenge to design, develop, and demonstrate a semi- or fully-automated robotic system to perform a user-defined function that pushed against the bounds of their abilities to innovation at the edge of the problem space of robotics (e.g., flexible material handling, autonomous guided vehicles, swarm systems, machine vision/learning, etc.).
The ‘Ville Robotics Team answered the call by entering their A.Li.E.N. 2.0 (Autonomous LiDAR-Based Environment Navigator) distributed control fully automated self-driving vehicle to follow GPS waypoints, avoid obstacles, all while staying within roadway lanes. Equipped with smart sensors (LiDAR, Machine Vision, and GPS/Compass) connected to a 32-bit microcontroller, A.Li.E.N. 2.0’s functionality resembled that of a self-driving car. While the competition was fierce, the ‘Ville Robotics Team was able to secure the overall 1st place Stephen Harris Cup, named after the late Rixan Associates CEO, longtime sponsor of the ATMAE Student Robotics Competition, and donor of nearly $1M of in-kind equipment and software to Millersville University’s Automation & Controls Lab. In total, the ‘Ville Robotics Team came home with the following awards, pushing their 1st – 3rd place competition awards in the past 20+ years to 45+, including 7 championship trophies.
‘Ville Robotics Team Awards:
- 1st Place Overall (Stephen Harris Cup)
- 1st Electrical/Controls Design
- 1st Innovative Problem Solution
- 2nd Mechanical/Manufacturing Design
- 2nd Technical Communication Design
- 3rd People’s Choice Award
Of note, Ohio Northern won 2nd Place Overall, 1st Place in the Technical Communication Design, and Mechanical/Manufacturing Design; East Carolina University won 3rd Place Overall; and Morehead State University won the People’s Choice Award.
Also, a special thanks to our team sponsors: Millersville University of Pennsylvania (AEST, SGA, OGSPR) and Phoenix Contact for travel support. And Todd Echterling for donating the wheelchair base!
For more information about the ‘Ville Robotics Team, please contact Dr. John Haughery (email@example.com).
– Contributed by Dr. John Haughery