A team of mechatronics engineering students from UNIFACS has won second place at the Laureate Award for Excellence in Engineering and Robotics competition. The competition was held in Mexico with participants from more than 70 institutions from 28 countries. Only six robots were selected for the final stage and UNIFACS was awarded the silver medal – over teams from Korea, Malaysia (third place), Mexico and Turkey, while the team from Spain was awarded first prize.
The UNITEC team included Lucas Leite, Ramon Valeriano, Brunno Araujo and Luan Passos, who were under the guidance of coordinator and teacher Murilo Ribeiro. The challenge was to develop a robot able to locate victims, determine their status and location and report the information back to a call center. “It enters the scene and immediately starts to map the area. At the same time it takes readings of gases such as carbon monoxide, natural gas, toxic gases in general and oxygen," explains teamleader Lucas Leite. "But Heimdall (the robot) does not perform a rescue. His objective is to assist rescue teams."
The competition took place at the Universidad del Valle de México (UVM) in May 2016, and tested the robots in a series of mobility challenges, including narrow corridors, simulated debris fields and on stairs. Lucas says that taking part in the competition has benefited the team in many ways. "It makes a difference not only on our résumés, but also to gain experience and mature as engineers," says Lucas.