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Monday, 6 June 2011

Industry Helps Engineering Students Reanimate Robotic Mine Vehicles

University of Arizona College of Engineering
May 24, 2011

In just 10 weeks, a group of University of Arizona engineering students took five crates of surplus hardware and two heavy-duty test vehicles, which didn’t run, and mixed them with youthful enthusiasm, tenacity and many long hours to build a couple of robotic vehicles that recently drove themselves around UA’s test mine.

This was no easy task, and some faculty predicted that the job was too big for the one-semester course: ENGR 450/550, autonomous vehicle systems. But they didn’t factor in the can-do attitude of 23 undergraduate and graduate students, who were willing to put in late nights following classes and day jobs.

“It’s amazing what happens when you say, ‘Here’s our goal, here are the resources, now go for it,’” said Sean Martinez, a systems engineering master’s student and teaching assistant for the course. “This is what engineering is truly about. The enthusiasm was wonderful. The students just said, ‘This is what we want to do. Let’s make it happen.’”
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