CSUN Mechanical Engineering Students Win Big at Robotics and Design Competitions

The CSUN team in back of their robot posing for a picture.

CSUN’s Mechanical Engineering team placed first for designing, building and operating their robot for the Student Design Competition. Photo courtesy of Kevin Hernandez.

CSUN’s robotics team finished first overall in the Student Design Competition, while the human powered vehicle team finished second overall in the Human Powered Vehicle Challenge. This is the fourth year in a row that CSUN has finished in the top two overall in the HPVC.

The two competitions took place March 15-17.

CSUN’s student robotics team designed, built and operated a robot that could pick up a variety of balls and place them on a flat surface. CSUN’s robot had the fastest time in the competition.

“We worked really hard for this three-day competition, and it felt awesome to be able to get first place,” said senior mechanical engineering major Kevin Hernandez, leader of the 32-person CSUN robotics team. “We each broke off into sub teams to tackle the building and design of the robot. From October to the competition in March, we put in countless hours and work to be able to get a well-designed machine to compete. In the end, it all paid off.”

For the Human Powered Vehicle Competition, student teams had to build a human powered vehicle to be used by the students in an obstacle course/race. Not only did they have to put their brains together to create an aerodynamic machine, but also had to train team members to complete the course. After a very tight race, the team finished second.

The The CSUN team in back of their machine on the Oviatt steps.

The CSUN Mechanical Engineering team with their human powered vehicle. Photo courtesy of Alex Espinoza.

“When we started designing the machine, we also had to take into account who was going to ride it,” said Alex Espinoza, mechanical engineering senior and leader of the 21-person student team. “Those students had to train and get into shape for the competition. The competition was a scored design event, a men’s and women’s drag race and an endurance course that took two and a half hours to complete. Though we placed second overall, it was extremely fun and exciting to be a part of it. We all worked really hard and put in so many hours.”

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