The IEEE SoutheastCon Competition required the robots to be capable of operating in an earthquake disaster situation. The robot was expected to autonomously navigate to four rooms and search for victims and report their conditions by stating whether they were live, unconscious, or dead. The robot displayed the information using a LCD screen and made audible reports of the exact coordinates of the victims and the room they were located in using an audio system. The robot was also made to navigate over and around obstacles in the hallways and rooms.
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|UTech, Jamaica earthquake respond Robot|
The UTech robot was very popular at the competition due to the level of engineering the project possessed. A typical US institution had the luxury of thousands of online robot stores and local robotic manufacturers for parts and components. These institutions could conveniently purchase pre-built circuits for various tasks and then integrate these parts using a centralized microprocessor. The students from the University, Jamaica on the other hand had to build most of their circuits from scratch using resistors, capacitors, voltage regulators, scraps from computer parts and anything accessible from old projects found in their labs. could yThis approach required twice as much time and engineering skills to ensure that components are not over powered and the circuits design and construction is perfect.
|Dr. Regina Hannemann presenting the 3rd place award to
Kimroy Bailey for his Offshore Wind Energy
Another major factor that made the UTech team stand out at the competition was the high team spirit exhibited by team members. The 14 member team and their adviser displayed their authentic laid back Jamaican personalities at the conference and bonded with the other universities and competitors like they knew each other from childhood. The University of Technology, Jamaica was awarded for the offshore wind energy research and also captured the prestigious Larry K Wilson Student Activities Award for their hard work leading up to the robotics competition and various other student activities.
The 2011 Competition was truly memorable, The UTech Robotics team was placed 3rd in the IEEE Open robotics competition earlier this year and are planning to top the University Robotics competition for 2013.