Next Generation Development & Manufacturing Equipment for Student Robotics
Advanced Robotics at the University of Washington
Advanced Robotics at the University of Washington is requesting funds to acquire next generation, which will help to launch an era where the UW can lead in both robotic technology development and hands on technical education. This proposal is targeted at resolving specific issues experienced by students in ARUW and in other communities across campus. Additionally, we are requesting funds which will be used for technology aimed at significantly increasing the overall capabilities of ARUW and the opportunities we provide as an organization. ARUW is one of the University’s host of elite engineering clubs and organizations. Like many other engineering teams on campus, our operations are centered around a regular competition season. The competition we compete in every year is called RoboMasters. The event itself takes place in Shenzhen, China, and is one of the fastest growing and most technical engineering competitions in the world. Each year, graduates and undergraduates in ARUW are tasked with creating 7 highly complex robots from the ground up, including a heavily modified drone. Students in ARUW research, design, and manufacture all aspects of each robot, while also managing a budget and conducting outreach. We are proud to say that we do all that while also being 100% student lead and organized. While creating our robotic systems, ARUW members try to stay on the cutting edge of technology development. We often consult with industry partners and attend technical conferences to gain the knowledge that is not available in a classroom or on the internet. In addition to our technological endeavors, ARUW aims to provide students with a premier hands on education while they attend UW. During their time in ARUW, students learn leadership, teamwork and other technical skills that will be highly coveted by their future employers, but are not available in a traditional classroom setting. Through this grant, students will have access to the newest technology in their industry. This will allow them to be better equipped in tomorrow’s workforce, and also to be far more successful during their time here at UW. Funding from this proposal will go towards two categories: Technology for Advancing Operations and Next Generation Equipment. The specific equipment within the first category will attempt to make working within ARUW easier and more accessible. New computers will allow students to have access to highly capable computing solutions without requiring them to spend thousands of dollars on their own high powered laptops. Additionally, current students who are unable to take part in CAD & design because they do not own such machines, will finally have access to suitable equipment. Furthermore, the computers purchased through this grant will allow ARUW software engineers to push the boundaries on the current computer vision and deep learning software we have developed. Also within this category is an attempt to relieve current constraints on student manufacturing spaces across campus. We recognized that our manufacturing efforts take up a massive proportion of the 3D printing time available to students. In the spring of 2018, we estimate that we used almost 90% of the total available 3D printing capacity for nearly two weeks. To solve this problem, we hope to purchase and maintain a 3D printer bank within our own facilities. We hope to do something similar for certain industrial manufacturing machines currently only available in the ME Machine Shop. The second category of funding would be focused bringing new cutting-edge technology to campus. In particular, we are requesting funding for a set of non-traditional-material 3D Printers. These industrial machines represent the next step in industrial manufacturing with the capabilities of printing steel, carbon and kevlar shapes with highly complex geometries. Experience with these machines will give UW students an upper hand in the job market.