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Robots Make a Big Splash in Annual Engineering Competition

03-15-19

On Tuesday Milikan Pond was transformed into an aquatic arena where amphibious robots duked it out in Caltech's annual ME72 design competition. The competition serves as the final exam for the ME72 Engineering Design Laboratory course, which is taught by Michael Mello (PhD '12). The event challenged four student teams to build three robots each. The robots had to be capable of traversing both land and water and collecting floating balls. [Caltech story & videos]

Tags: MCE alumni ME 72 Michael Mello

In Grueling Combat, The Riveters Emerge Victorious

03-08-18

This year's ME 72 design competition consisted of fleets of robot tanks built by undergraduate students climbing hills, capturing bases, and shooting each other with foam balls in an epic series of battles on the Caltech Beckman Mall. After 20 rounds of battle, the Riveters—Mohar Chatterjee, Caroline Paules, Diandra Almasco, and Hannah Chen, who dubbed their team in honor of Rosie the Riveter—emerged victorious, having never lost a single match. They utilized a track-wheeled tank design topped by flywheel-based cannons, and relied on a consistent and effective strategy of capturing two key bases quickly and holding onto them for the remainder of the match. Though the Riveters were the only all-female team, women actually outnumbered men in this year's ME 72 course for the first time in its 33-year history. [Caltech story]

Tags: MCE ME 72 Mohar Chatterjee Caroline Paules Diandra Almasco Hannah Chen

The Battle of the 'Bots

03-09-17

Caltech's 32nd Annual Engineering Design Competition (ME 72) featured teams of robots and their handlers battling for the best times navigating a "Robstacle Course." The V15TA team—Yunsang Choi, Mayra Melendez, Allison Penn, Eduardo Plascencia, and William Yu—won first place by having its robots successfully traverse 27 pylons, a seesaw, and a ramp to deliver a ball into a hole at the end of the course. [Slideshow of the event] [Video of the event]

Tags: MCE ME 72

Tridroid Cup - Robots Play Soccer

03-08-16

The students in this year's Mechanical Engineering 72 (ME72) class, a two-term engineering design lab for mechanical engineering majors, designed, built, and operated, under manual and/or autonomous control, robotic vehicles that could compete and withstand the physical rigors of a robot soccer matches played within a 24-ft x 48-ft arena in the Brown Gym. The 2016 winning team was “Blitzkrieg Bots.” [KPCC coverage]

Tags: MCE ME 72

Contest Unleashes Aquamania in Millikan Pond

03-10-15

Amphibious robots took to Caltech’s Millikan Pond on Tuesday, March 10, each one hoping to come away with the title "Aquamania champion." At the event, teams of students tested their robotic athletes in the 30th annual Mechanical Engineering 72 (ME72) competition. Eight teams competed for this year's title, and team KATS—named for teammates and Caltech juniors Kristin Eliason, Auggie Nanz, Tammer Eweis-Labolle, and Sheila Lo—walked away with the trophy. [Caltech story]

Tags: MCE ME 72

Raiders of the Lost Can

03-12-14

The students in this year's Mechanical Engineering 72 (ME72) class, a two-term engineering design lab for mechanical engineering majors, not only rolled, they crawled and flew their robotic inventions to deliver their team's soup can to the top of a wooden pyramid outfitted with steel ramps, while simultaneously deploying other robotic vehicles to conduct defensive maneuvers, preventing the opposing team from beating them to the top with their own color-coded soup can. [Caltech Release]

Tags: MCE ME 72

Sponge Wars: Attack of the Drones!

03-13-13

Robots designed and built by undergraduate students battled in head-to-head competition, in this year's ME 72 Engineering Design Contest entitled "Sponge Wars: Attack of the Drones!." Each team was tasked with designing, building, and operating a pair of vehicles that would:retrieve dry kitchen sponges from a four-foot high platform, place these sponges in goals their team controlled, navigate autonomously to place sponges in their autonomous goal, and maintain their own score while reducing the opposing team’s score. The blue team named "Blacker Air and Machinery Force" received the most points and was honored with the ME-72 trophy. [More information]

Tags: MCE ME 72

Robots Take Over Millikan Pond

03-09-12

Robots designed and built by undergraduate students battled in head-to-head competition, in this year's ME 72 Engineering Design Contest which was dubbed "The Conquest of Millikan Islands."  Teams had to design and build robots to retrieve 11 ping-pong balls from dispensers on the footbridge and then use a second aquatic robot to put those balls into small "islands" distributed around the pond. Finally, after an afternoon of many fierce rounds, team Robotics Anonymous emerged victorious. [Caltech Feature] [ABC7 News Video]

Tags: MCE ME 72

Engineering Design Competition: "Extreme Recycling"

03-10-11

Congratulations to Chris Hallacy, Brad Saund, and Janet Chen for winning the 27th Annual ME72 Engineering Design Competition! "Extreme Recycling" was the theme of this year's competition. Teams designed, built, and deployed vehicles that traversed difficult terrain in order to gather a variety of recyclables, correctly sort recyclables into bins, and return vehicles to the start zone by the end of each heat. [Caltech Feature]

Tags: honors MCE Chris Hallacy Brad Saund Janet Chen ME 72