Wednesday, November 30, 2016

MC Engineering students to hold robotics demonstration

• Robots will perform penalty kicks, celebratory dances

By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

Students in the Midland College (MC) Introduction to Engineering class will demonstrate their semester robotics projects at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 1. The event will be held on the main MC campus at the Abell-Hanger Science Faculty Building in the courtyard or, in case of inclement weather, Room 164.

“The student teams have been working on the robots since late September,” explained Dr. Brian Flowers, MC Engineering instructor. “The robots will navigate an obstacle course, score a robot penalty kick by hitting a golf ball into a shoebox one meter away and then perform an autonomous dance celebration based on color input. The project will be scored on how well each robot performs the assigned tasks, and the ‘celebratory dances’ will be judged on creativity and execution.”

Flowers said that the students have designed, built and tested the robots based on engineering principles taught in class. A preliminary assignment consisted of each team presenting a design proposal. Four teams will be represented at Thursday’s demonstration. Team names are the Jelly Beans, Skillz that Killz, Ghostbusters and Sheen.

“Everything we do is to help students be successful and advance into their careers as quickly as possible,” stated Flowers. “Engineers must be one-half scientist and one-half businessperson. A good engineer knows how to research and use science to find a solution to a problem, and then apply that solution to the real world. The robot project is an example of how students were presented with a problem of designing and building a robot to perform specific tasks. They had to develop solutions for, not only building the robots, but also making them successfully execute the tasks.”

Flowers continued, “Engineering career opportunities are numerous throughout the world. Right here in Midland, there is a great demand for all types of engineers—not just petroleum engineers, as one might think. Midland companies also hire chemical engineers and mechanical engineers. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Midland has the highest ‘annual mean wage’ for civil engineers. My goal at Midland College is to ensure students who are interested in pursuing engineering careers are prepared for their future classes and beyond.”


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