Archive for Wednesday, October 8, 2008

THS grad part of No. 1 robotics team

October 8, 2008

Tonganoxie High School graduate Alan Bauerly helped the 2008 Kansas State University robotics team take first place at the Student Robotics Competition at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) National Convention in Providence, R.I., in July.

Bauerly, who is a senior at K-State, was a member of the seven-person team.

The competition challenged the teams to build and program an automated robot(s) to harvest a simulated forest that included harvestable and un-harvestable trees. The requirements for the competition were that the robot(s) had to harvest only the harvestable trees and deliver them to a collection area. The robot(s) had a five-minute time limit to complete the task.

The KSU team built two robots, a harvester and a dumper. The harvester consisted of a mobile rig on a gantry. The gantry had two motors on two of the three axles on its sides. The rig had its own motor, allowing it to navigate up and down the length of the gantry; it also had claws and counter-weights to provide stability. The second robot had a collection bed that was parked under the harvester and collected the logs as they were picked. After the dumper collected a certain number of logs it would dump the logs into the collection area and return to its collection point. Four NXTs (microcomputers to control the robots) communicated via a Bluetooth wireless network to coordinate motions of the rig, the claws, the gantry and the dumper.

This is the second consecutive win for the KSU team. In 2007, the team also won the first place at the inaugural Student Robotics Competition/Demonstration at the ASABE National Convention in Minneapolis.

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