Picture of the student branch Region 4 robotics contestants

IEEE Region 5 Conference: Lessons Learned and Gearing Up for 2019

Every year, our student branch attends the IEEE Region 5 Conference to compete in the various competitions. This year we competed in the Robotics competition and the Ethics competition. Missouri S&T attendees also went to a leadership workshop where they gained valuable information and ideas for our branch.

The premise of this year’s robotics competition was to autonomously collect coins of varying color and place them in matching color squares within a time limit. Though the team’s robot was able to move, it wasn’t able to collect any coins in the time limit. Building a robot and attending competition was still an extremely valuable experience for the team as it provided them with insight into where to improve and how to do better in the coming year.

The 2017-2018 R5 robot.

 

“The IEEE Region 5 Conference was a great experience! It was a great opportunity to network and meet students, professors, and industry professionals from across the region. It was also an awesome opportunity to see how other student branches operate and listening to them share their successes and failures was a great insight into what can be done at Missouri S&T going into the future,” says Blake Krodinger, 2017-2018 team member and SPAV Coordinator.

Blake Krodinger also participated in the Ethics Competition with Zach Strohm. They weren’t originally planning on participating in the Ethics Competition, but when asked by Dr. Watkins, the coordinator of the competition and a professor at Missouri S&T, if they wanted to participate they jumped at the opportunity. In the ethics competition, teams of two were given a scenario and asked to identify the ethical violations committed in the scenario as well as what should have been done and what should be done to mitigate the impact of the ethical violations. Despite their late entry, the team ended up taking 4th place!

The team took away important lessons in time management, electrical architecture design, and not over complicating system requirements. In the coming year, they hope to apply the lessons they’ve learned and grow the robotics team to be larger and more interdisciplinary. The student branch is also hoping to send students to compete in the Ethics, Standards, and Circuit Design Competitions.

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