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LONGVIEW, May 2, 2013— LeTourneau University electrical and computer engineering students won first place in the Robotics Technical Report competition and second place in the Circuit Design competition at the IEEE Region V conference in Denver, Colo., under the direction of faculty sponsor Dr. Joonwan Kim.
IEEE is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, an association of professionals dedicated to the advancement of technology and professional development within the field of electrical engineering.
The LETU robotics team competed against 26 other teams to collect soil samples on a playing field with obstacles simulating small, downed and standing trees. The LETU team included Jeff Hogue of Longview, Texas; Stuart Miller of Richmond, Texas; Shay Galland of Longview, Texas; Peter Sculley of Atlanta, Ga.; Tim Hong of Papua New Guinea; Benjamin Balasa of Mendon, Mich.; Elijah Meek of Sulphur Springs, Texas; and Michael Searcy of New London, Texas.
(L to R) Josh Brake, Ian Barnes, Jeff Hogue, Stuart Miller,
Dr. Joonwan Kim, Michael Searcy, Tim Hong, Derek Hoyt
To collect the soil samples, the robots were required to navigate around and over the simulated trees and remain within the playing field. The winner was determined by how many soil samples were collected and the amount of time needed to complete the challenge.
The Circuit Design team of Josh Brake of Trumbull, Conn., and Ian Barnes of Mechanicsburg, Penn., traveled from the main conference facility to the nearby engineering facilities at the Colorado School of Mines to take place in the eight-hour competition. A total of 18 teams competed to design and build a device capable of wirelessly transmitting three decimal numbers using infrared light emitting diodes and displaying them on a receiver.
The teams were limited to a specific set of components and equipment, and were unable to reference outside sources during the competition. Once finished, the teams were judged based upon their proposed design, documentation of the design, compactness of the circuit, and output from the circuit.
Other teams competing in the competitions included the University of Texas, Louisiana Tech University, Lamar University, University of Oklahoma, Louisiana State University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and University of Houston.
LETU student and president-elect for the IEEE student chapter Derek Hoyt also traveled with the group, attending seminars about IEEE leadership and networking with other IEEE professionals and student branch leaders.
Each year, IEEE hosts this and many other conferences with the goal of bringing industry leaders and academic professionals together to discuss technology and its global impact.
Feature photo: The LeTourneau Autonomous Robotics Competition (LARC) Senior Design Team Robot
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