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‘Ville Robotics Team Places First

The success of the ‘Ville Robotics Team signifies hundreds of hours of student and faculty time.

The Millersville University Robotics team found success at the 2022 Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering Robotics Competition by placing first overall for the fourth time at this competition. This is the first time any university has won this competition four times. The team also placed in the top three in all the competition’s scoring categories including first place overall (Stephen Harris Cup), first place in Electrical/Controls Design, and in Innovative Problem Solution, second place in Mechanical/Manufacturing Design and in Technical Communication Design and third place in People’s Choice.

Dr. John Haughery, assistant professor and program coordinator of Automation and Intelligent Robotics Engineering Technology, explains how important the team’s success is to the students and the University, “The success of the ‘Ville Robotics Team signifies hundreds of hours of student and faculty time over a 10 month stretch since March 2022. For students, the win is an exclamation point to long hours of designing, testing, troubleshooting, redesigning, retesting and more troubleshooting. In short, it is a barometer of how MU’s students stack up against those at universities around the U.S.”

The ATMAE Robotics Competition requires teams to design, develop and demonstrate a semi- or fully automated robotic system to perform a user-defined function. The robot was required to perform non-destructive and team-defined tasks. Throughout the competition, students were encouraged to push the boundaries of their abilities and innovation while creating the robot. For the competition, ‘Ville Robotics created A.L.i.E.N. 2.0, a fully-automated system that functioned as a self-driving car for highway travel.

Within the main goal of creating the robot, smaller competitions were held to evaluate the more intricate details of the design. The Electrical/Controls Design award consisted of the sophistication, innovation, robustness, craftsmanship and documentation of the electrical and computer-controlled technical elements of the robot including the sensors and code. The Problem/Solution Design Innovation award evaluated how the team defined their problem and solution, along with their solution’s viability, desirability and the overall design aesthetic. The main competition, Stephen Harris Cup, combined all the scores from the smaller competitions including electrical/controls design, mechanical/manufacturing design, technical communication design and innovative problem/solution.

Haughery notes that the team gained much experience from the competition, “Students gained real-world engineering experience through the design, development, innovation and communication process. It also allows students to experience what it is like to work towards a collective goal while operating under time and money constraints.”

A special thanks is made to ‘Ville Robotics’ sponsors: Millersville University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology, the Student Government Association, and the Office of Grants, Sponsored Programs, & Research for financial funding, as well as Phoenix Contact (for travel support) and Todd Echterling (for donating the wheelchair base)!

For more information on Millersville’s Department of Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology, click here. 


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