Robots tie for first in CA

“The sky is no longer the limit for a group of University of Akron Electrical Engineering Student. The Robotics team traveled to Long Beach, CA to compete in the Junior Space Elevator Competition, where they ended up tying for first place along side student from Santa Cruise.”

The sky is no longer the limit for a group of University of Akron Electrical Engineering Student.

The Robotics team traveled to Long Beach, CA to compete in the Junior Space Elevator Competition, where they ended up tying for first place along side students from Santa Cruz.

The team is composed of eight students total: Jeff Aynes, Lindsey Leyo, Michael Ludwig, Michael Prechel, Micheal Beavers, Kyle Hamblin, James Kirkwood and the team captain Courtney Gras.

Dr. Tom Hartley, the groups adviser, said how proud he was of this group and what they have accomplished.

The great thing about that group is it was a team the whole time, he said. They were enthusiastic about the problem and they worked as a team.

He also shared what a great group he thought they really were.

They were a great team to just watch and help advise, he said.

The American Society of Civil Engineers hosted the competition. Students were asked to design and create a robot that could climb miles above the earth while carrying a heavy payload, Gras said, which is something being developed by ASCE.

According to Gras the idea is to have a two bases, one in the ocean and one in space, connected by a carbon-nanotube ribbon. This will allow the robot to travel between the two bases.

While each member found out about the team in their own way, Gras heard about it in her tools for electrical engineering class with Dr. Hartley.

He announced during class that there would be a couple of robotics competitions. I went and talked to him about it, and he showed me around the whole College of Engineering and showed me the robots, she said.

They started off with five people and grew from there.

The members have been working on this project for about five months total Gras said.

When asked why she does this she responded, It sounded like fun to be a part of a team, and you learn about a part of engineering they don’t teach you in a class room.

The main reason she thought other members of the team joined was because of their interest in robotics.

Specifically, Gras said that she has learned a lot from this process.

I learned that if it weren’t for everybody I could not have done this by myself, she said. Each team member has their own specific talent or things that they added to the team.

She said she also came to understand why the seniors said they slept at the university when it came time for their senior project.

You always hear seniors say they slept at the school to finish their projects, she said. I didn’t think we would have to do that, but we really did.

Gras plans to continue on with the robotic competitions in the future. Including the elevator 2010 competition, which, according to Gras, carries a $4 million prize.

Personally though, Gras hopes to one day work for NASA, leading one assume that the sky is not the limit for these student.