On November 9th, 2019, members from the ASME Design Team competed in the Student Design Competition in Salt Lake City, Utah, at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE). This competition acts as the international finals for the multiple previously held E-Fest competitions from earlier in the year. This year, the SDC challenge was to build a pick-and-place robot that would be able to collect balls ranging from a ping pong ball to a basketball off of posts evenly spaced around a playing field, and then securely drop them off in a collection area. This competition featured an initial solo placement round, a head-to-head seeding round, and subsequent bracket-style elimination rounds between 14 teams. The NC State team managed to be the first and only team to get a perfect solo run, earning the spot of the #1 seed throughout the competition. The team stayed on top of their competition, making it to the final round against the University of Florida (Efest North 2019 SDC Winner). During this round, they came 3 points shy of winning but secured a 2nd Place victory in the competition overall.
The ASME at NC State Design Team prides itself on offering a hands-on opportunity for students to apply their coursework. Every year, they pursue at least one design challenge that requires every step of the design process and a lot of group collaboration. In tackling each design challenge, key brainstorming sessions are held where all ideas are considered and picked apart. As they collectively decide on a course of action, CAD models are then developed, and the fabrication of the design is implemented. Students get experience in the machine shop as well as access to club fabrication spaces.
The ASME Design Team is a subset of the ASME Student Section at NC State, which is a professional development club that provides career and volunteering opportunities for students by bringing in companies that give presentations and also allow 1-1 time with representatives. The ASME Student Section meets once every two weeks, while the Design Team meets weekly.
The team has already started preparations for next year’s competitions: a paper tower building robot and a payload delivering drone. Information about these competitions can be found here.