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WKU Engineering hosts 16th annual robotics competition

WKU’s Department of Engineering conducted the 16th annual Kentucky Bluegrass Robotics Competition on Saturday (Nov. 7).

The Department of Engineering hosted a high school robotics competition on Nov. 7.

The Department of Engineering hosted its 16th annual Kentucky Bluegrass Robotics Competition on Nov. 7. (WKU photo by Clinton Lewis)

This WKU Engineering Department outreach competition provides secondary school students with a challenging engineering design problem to solve, and offers school faculty and mentors an interesting team project to use as an example of engineering principles.

Thirteen teams from 10 high schools across Kentucky were able to achieve the project goals, with well over 100 students, coaches and supporters filling the WKU Engineering and Biological Sciences McConnell lab. The 2015 “Moving On” competition required each team to build a robot using nearly $1,000 worth of motors, controls and construction materials provided by WKU.

The teams built robots that were capable of navigating around obstacles, collecting items from the playing field. Teams competed directly against each other for limited resources to capture and place in designated areas. The teams were also judged on the quality of their device documentation and the cost effectiveness of their devices.

The Spencer County High School team won the event, with teams from Nelson County and Johnson Home School finishing second and third in the competition.

WKU Engineering faculty members Julie Ellis, Morteza Nurcheshmeh, Gordon Smith and Kevin Schmaltz, and Engineering Department staff engineers Ron Rizzo, Troy Robertson and Jason Wilson provided assistance with preparations and game day support for the event. Numerous WKU Engineering students helped with developing the competition, providing technical assistance to teams, building the obstacle course, setting up and judging the event, and feeding all of the participants.

Contact: John Inman, (270) 745-3048

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