Over the past several years our UMKC IEEE Robotics team and the UMKC IEEE student chapter has substantially increased the number of SCE students, both currently enrolled and alumni, involved in STEM outreach activities. Sharing their passion for programming, gizmos, gadgets and robots, IEEE student organization and team activities were featured in the UMKC Today article “Big Army, Little Bot”. This year’s UMKC IEEE student members involved in outreach are Eddie Pogosov, Ariel Muthyala, Victoria Wu, Matt Mohler, Andrew Blackton, Victor Skulavik III, Sarah Withee, Chris Wolfe, Mladen Kojic, Eric Gonzalez, RT Leryoskajai, W. Oliver Craig, Cody Kaspzyk, Scott McElfresh and Darren Cogan. The UMKC IEEE faculty advisor is Dr. Reza Derakhshani and Debby Dilks is the UMKC IEEEE robotics team staff advisor.
The UMKC-IEEE Robotics Team participated in the Annual IEEE Region 5 Business Meeting and Student Competitions which were held in Baton Rouge, LA on April 15-17, 2011. The student competitions featured a variety activities ranging from paper presentations, poster contests, circuit design competition, ethics competition, to the popular robotics competition and an SPAC (Student Professional Awareness Conference) students could arrive earlier to participate in the 3rd Annual Green Technology Conference which preceded the competitions by two days and included technical seminars on current and emerging topics related specifically to the development and use of Green Technologies. The Robotics Team’s nine members worked hard over the Fall semester and into the Spring semester to design and build an autonomous robot that had to perform a predetermined task simulating the harvest and delivery of energy—an interesting and challenging problem in this modern era of the quest for energy independence.
The competition consisted of three 5 minute rounds of which a robot had three sources of “energy” to harvest from using a wide choice of storage techniques. After harvesting this energy, the student teams had to do some work with it by powering a small motor which raised a flag 12 inches. The team from UMKC proceeded to the second round where a hardware malfunction unfortunately prevented qualification for the third round. Over the years the UMKC Robotics Team’s designs have improved and a noticeable difference can be seen in the evolution of the robots that have been built. The team learned a lot and was able to interact with teams from other universities and share ideas.
A total of 33 teams showed up for the robotics competition and nine teams for the circuits design competition. Of the 33 robotics teams only 15 were able to complete the course. The next IEEE Region 5 Annual Green Technologies Conference and Student Competitions will be held April 19-22, 2012 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. UMKC’s Robotics Team is planning on registering two robotics teams and also have a team in the circuit design competition. This year the team learned a lot from their mistakes and hopes to improve their performance tremendously next year. The rules will be released in October.
What started as a joint venture five months ago between the IEEE Student Branches at KU and UMKC will come to fruition next Saturday, February 5 when UMKC hosts the Student Professional Awareness Conference (SPAC) in the theater in our new UMKC Student Union. World class speakers are scheduled to talk about their experiences with Entrepreneurship, Relationship Building and Creating a World that Never Before Existed. The event is sponsored by the local IEEE-Kansas City Section.
Jim Lammers, President/CEO of Trinity Animation, Inc. built his company from the ground up. Today, Trinity Animation provides the backgrounds for the successful series, “Archer.”
John E. Nobles, President and General Manager of Burns & McDonnell’s Process & Industrial Group is also on the Board of Directors for Burns and McDonnell. A 2009 news release stated that he was instrumental in the development and rapid growth of his division’s success. Prior to joining Burns and McDonnell in 2000, he was the President and CEO of Black and Veatch Pritchard.
Gordon Day, President-elect of IEEE was recently elected to the position by IEEE members worldwide. Prior to this position, Gordon was President of IEEE-USA (the US only part of the organization) and President of the IEEE Photonics Society.
Matthew Parish, Madhurima Poddar and Kevin Wisniewski – team UMKCPLUSPLUS – competed in the 24 hour competition – IEEExtreme 4.0. IEEExtreme involved teams from all of the world with 971 registered teams, 756 of which submitted at least one problem. There were a total of 17 problems in the competition with new problems released throughout the night. Out of the 17 problems, our team successfully solved 6 problems placing us 283rd out of 971 teams giving us a ranking in the top 38th percentile. This is a great achievement especially for our first year competing in IEEEXtreme! We are very proud of these three students who endured a grueling 24 hour competition from October 22 to 23, Friday 7p.m. to Saturday 7 p.m.
The UMKC SCE IEEE Robotics Team traveled to the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, MO on Aug. 15th. They manned an information booth and gave a demo of their robot that they took to an IEEE competition last April in Grapevine, Texas. Many folks visited with our UMKC SCE IEEE team at the ShowMe Robots event in the Assembly Hall at the Missouri State Fair. Other displays included FIRST Robotics teams, FIRST Lego League teams and 4-H robot teams. Vendors included Kansas City Robotics Society, St. Louis Robotics Society, NASA, Boeing and NSF.
At the April 18, 2009 IEEE-R5 Annual Meeting & Green Technology Conference at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, UMKC SCE entered two events – the annual Robotics Competition and the Student Paper Contest. Jim Surber, a SCE undergraduate Electrical Computer Engineering student, entered a paper titled Better Clarity in Spinal Imaging.
The judges were very impressed with his paper and his presentation, and voted him the overall first place winner. This region encompasses 85 universities across twelve states (there isn’t a national competition in this event).
Prior to winning in Lubbock, he already was the UMKC delegate, having won the highest honor in the Northern States of the IEEE-R5. The UMKC IEEE Robotics team was ranked 14th out 31 competition entries.