31 January 2013
Some of the most innovative ideas are born when a group of engineers get together to face a challenge. To enhance this concept, the University of Bristol hosted the ARM on-Campus Engineering Challenge on Saturday December 8th 2012.
The challenge was open to all students from the Faculty of Engineering. Participants were given an mbed micro-controller and asked to engineer something that demonstrated good use of the resource (robots, quadcopters, proximity sensors etc.) from scratch in 24 hours. 66 candidates in 15 teams took part, representing several departments (including electrical and electronic engineering).
Over the 24 hour period, the Atrium in Merchant Venturers Building turned into a number of mini laboratories, cluttered with the engineers’ ingenuity, emotions and tools, as the contestants frantically tried to demonstrate their engineering prowess and superiority.
Much of the determination from the night before returned the following morning as the major engineering effort reached its conclusion.
The panel of judges – which included Dr. Daniel Page, Dr. Mike Barton, Dr. Guido Herrmann and Mr. Crispin Semmens – arrived at noon on Sunday and the teams were asked to stop engineering and start demonstrating their designs to the judges.
Designs included a remote controlled car that surveys and maps the area, a quadcopter capable of lifting weight, a robot inspired by WALL-E and a robotic car.
After a long discussion, judges awarded the prize to “Charlie’s Angels”, a group of five aerospace engineers who built an electronic etch-a-sketch that could be used to play video games.
Other teams receiving a special mention from the judges included ARM-agloveon for a pair of gloves which interface with computer systems, Minotaur for a maze solving machine and gEEKs for an obstacle dodging robot.