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Engineering trio wins competition

Judges were a(maze)d by the three Bradley engineering students.
Bradley’s engineering team won first place in a maze-following robot competition Feb. 7 at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Region 4 Student Leadership Conference at the University of Wisconsin.

Electrical and computer engineering students Alex Berian, Jair Robinson and Brian Roskuszka competed against seven other teams from Midwestern universities. Four students were allowed per team, but Bradley topped the competition with only three students.

“The competition was intense and very competitive,” Robinson said. “The process itself was mentally demanding, causing us to work continuously without taking any breaks all [while] under pressure. We had to direct all our focus into programming the best possible robot we could in the limited amount of time.”

Each team was given a Pololu 3pi robot, a small circular robot that can be programmed, and the challenge of navigating the course of the maze better and faster than all the other robots. But, there was a catch. The students were only allowed three hours to program the robot.

“One thing we did was go through some basic online tutorials of how to use the Atmel Studio 6.2 programming software,” Roskuszka said. “We also jammed out to some pump up music right before we entered the competition room.”

Although none of the teams solved the maze completely, Bradley’s robot managed to get the furthest faster than any other team.

Robinson said he is most proud of being able to represent the engineering department and place at this year’s competition with only three team members.

“Our engineering department may be small in numbers, but as our advisor Dr. Sanchez said, good engineering will always beat numbers,” Robinson said.

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