A team of maritime engineering students will soon be going to war – in a robotics competition, that is!
AMC is entering its inaugural team in the 30th annual Engineers Australia Warman Design and Build Robotics Competition, which will be held in Sydney on October 15.
The team is comprised of five student members of the AMC Autonomous Technology society (AMCAT), who are in the first and second years of their undergraduate engineering degrees.
The competition requires groups to develop and use an autonomous robot to mimic extra-terrestrial mining on a planet called Gondwana. The robot has to sort three different sized and coloured balls into two separate baskets – one for waste and one for ore.
Project mentor Nick Eutick said the competition provides students a rare opportunity to practice hands-on engineering design skills.
“It’s a great opportunity for first and second year students to develop skills that they will harness not only during their time at university, but also in their careers,” Nick said.
The team decided to enter the competition after an invitation from Engineers Australia. It came as AMCAT was taking a break from competing in the HYDROcontest, which involved designing fast, energy-efficient catamarans and had been the group’s focus for the past few years.
Team member Isaac Probert is excited to be representing AMC and the University of Tasmania on the national stage.
“As AMC students we usually pursue maritime-based projects to complement the expertise we gain during our degrees. However, the competition is only for students in the early stages of our degrees, so we still have a similar level of knowledge as our land-locked university rivals,” Isaac said.
While the team continues to perfect the design of their robot, named ASSET, they are keeping it under wraps but are hopeful they have the winning edge.
“Our final design is looking promising and has an exciting component that we hope will make the difference. We’ll focus on optimising our robot's speed and reliability and see where that leaves us in the pecking order,” Isaac said.
With just under one month till competition day, the AMCAT team is thanking its supporters for their assistance so far, including the staff of AMC and the project’s financial backers - the National Centre for Maritime Engineering and Hydrodynamics, the Australian Maritime College Student Association and the Tasmanian University Union.
The event is sponsored by Weir Minerals.
The team’s progress can be tracked on their Facebook page.
Published on: 25 Sep 2017