Engineering Shines in National Robotics Challenge

by Jennifer Taggart, Public Relations Writer

Cedarville University’s student engineering teams won two gold awards at the National Robotics Challenge April 10-11, 2015, in Marion, Ohio.

The annual National Robotics Challenge allows students to design robots to compete in 13 categories. More than 400 robots participated in the competition from four levels of teams (elementary school, middle school, high school and postsecondary).

One of the teams from Cedarville (Kevin Bridgman, a junior from Cedarville, Ohio; Matthew Paulding, a junior from San Antonio, Texas, Amy Abraham, a junior from Springfield, Ohio; and David Tibbetts, a sophomore from Olympia, Washington) won a gold medal in the Robot Construction. In this category, team members designed a robot — Cedar-Crab — to complete a specific challenge they had chosen — the Fishing Derby.
 
As part of the challenge, the robot had to collect, detect and then drop as many fish cutouts as possible into their corresponding color tanks within 120 seconds. The team will use this design to complete the same challenge in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) competition on June 15, which will be held in Seattle, Washington.

In addition to the gold award, the team earned the Honda Innovation Award for its category. This honor was given to only 13 of the 405 entries in the competition.
 
Cedarville’s second team, made up of Wyatt Jackson, a senior from Narvon, Pennsylvania; Nathan Ross a senior from Clarkston, Michigan; and Nathan Kallman, a senior from Wyoming, Michigan, won gold in the Autonomous Vehicle Challenge category.

In this category, students designed an autonomous vehicle to complete an outdoor obstacle course.
 
The course had a series of tasks with different points awarded for each task. Cedarville’s team set a record of 380 points in the competition.  The team earned 50 points for passing through a hoop, 100 points for passing each of the four corners and 230 points for speed bonus.

“Both of our Cedarville University teams were able to take skills learned in the classroom and apply them to these challenging real-world problems,” said Clinton Kohl, Ph.D., professor of computer engineering and adviser of the teams.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,620 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings.