Bully-Bots Robotic Competition
Students in Jane Moorhead's Digital Devices courses had the opportunity to put their engineering knowledge to work for the premier Bully-Bots robotic competition. The line-sensing robots had to traverse five different courses in the shortest amount of time to be declared the winner. Courses consisted of white lines on black backgrounds and dark lines on white backgrounds. The robots had to be able to handle curves, breaks in a line, hills, tunnels, and ambient light from the surrounding windows. A lot of creativity went into the design of the robots. At the competition, students were seen with flashlights helping their robots maneuver the course; even some extra soldering was seen as students redesigned their bots to improve them. Learning that even the simplest of maneuvering techniques may not be so easy (as wheels came flying off), the students really seemed to enjoy the competition and the challenge of putting their engineering skills to work. Plans are in place to start a Bully-Bots Robotic Club this semester.
Along with the robotics competition, students also had the opportunity to enter an engineering fair, similar to science fairs. Students were to design a digital product and implement the product with either PLDs or discrete components. Here, Ryan Beacher shows his binary clock which looks remarkably similar to one in a recent product catalog.