Robotics

pgBanner Robotics

The South Dakota Mines Robotics team is a student organization dedicated to the educational benefits of the students involved in the field of robotics. This includes applying knowledge in mechatronics, electrical circuits, and programming; thus being beneficial to the majors of Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Mathematics. Even though these majors make up the majority of our team, we accept anyone from any program of study!

We are highly involved with the community in many different ways. First, we participate in various outreach events for K-12 students, including everything from individual elementary school visits to participating in the annual South Dakota Mines E-Week each spring. Additionally, we participate in various street festivals in the fall such as the Main Street Square Hardrocker Night as well as the annual Rapid City Pumpkin Festival. We compete in Annual competitions; historically we participated in the IEEE Robotics Competition, but in recent years have also engaged in the ASME Student Design Competition and the National Robotics Challenge. Fundraising is also a large part of our community involvement by setting up occasional food fundraisers as well as direct sponsorship from companies.

The Robotics team is dedicated to the use of hands-on learning and the development of a variety of practical skills. Participation in the Robotics team gives ample opportunity to develop certain soft skills like working with a team of people, developing effective communication skills, and learning to compromise and combine the best of ideas. We also strive to encourage psychological safety within our group; we want our team to be a safe, supportive environment open to new ideas and widespread discussion. The skills that our team members gain through this process and the opportunity we provide our students to apply their knowledge in prestigious ways contributes to a more well rounded education.

The Robotics team relies heavily on the application of theoretical knowledge with mechatronics being one of the most integral parts of our processes. The applications of mechatronics include work with sensor guided systems, which may guide a robot's path and implement certain key functions. Another large aspect of this team’s work is mechanical dynamics: framework design (building a frame useful for certain hardware integrations), motor design (effectively setting gear ratios, torque, power, angular velocity, etc.), and hardware integration (effectively placing doors, wheels, catapults, flippers, legs, etc.).

Another key field of knowledge that we work with heavily is electrical circuits. We design the circuits to integrate with and control the mechanical components of the robots. All participants are given the opportunity to acquire knowledge of circuit-board creation and the design software used to make the process plausible at the level of our competition.

And finally, we work with programming. We primarily work with Arduinos and program them using the Arduino IDE. But for more complicated projects we implement the Robot Operating System (ROS). We also use OpenCV to add computer vision for our bots to allow them to navigate and avoid obstacles autonomously.

The South Dakota Mines Robotics team is a vital part of campus education and entirely consistent with what CAMP and South Dakota Mines stands for. Its regional accomplishments speak for itself - the result of the combined efforts of its sponsor’s funds and its student’s minds. But the most invaluable thing of all is the unmistakable experience and education that its members walk away with - stepping into the world as an active and constructive participant to its good; there is no greater idea than this for an institution of higher learning.

Meeting: Thursdays 4pm in McLaury 101

Student Org Website  |  Competition Website (NRC)  |  Competition Website (ASME)

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