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MassRobotics discusses college Form and Function Challenge and partnerships

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Tufts Nano Lab won the 2023 Form and Function Challenge with its Ingestible Pill for Multi-Spot Gut Sampling. Source: MassRobotics

Tufts Nano Lab gained the 2023 Form and Function Challenge with its Ingestible Pill for Multi-Spot Gut Sampling. Source: MassRobotics

There are loads of robotics challenges, however many are narrowly centered on a selected activity or software, in accordance with MassRobotics. The group yesterday hosted an informational session to elucidate its Form and Function Robotics Challenge.

The competitors requires college groups to “create any sort of robotics or automation mission that delivers a compelling kind issue particular to its activity whereas undertaking a helpful operate,” stated MassRobotics.

“This name is purposefully broad,” Russ Nickerson, companion engagement liaison at MassRobotics, stated in the course of the name. “I’ve seen competitions with a spotlight corresponding to underwater robots or drones, however loads of robots don’t get discover or have a spot. We need to permit creativity and ingenuity to shine.”

MassRobotics is an group devoted to nurturing startups and different robotics and related machine corporations in Massachusetts. It affords co-working area in Boston, networking alternatives, and applications for training and mentorship. This week, MassRobotics additionally introduced the classes for its fourth Jumpstart cohort for highschool ladies in Boston and growth to Lowell, Mass.

MassRobotics affords prizes and partnerships

The second annual Form and Function Robotics Challenge affords a grand prize of $10,000, plus $1,000 prizes for second and third place, in addition to a $1,000 Audience Choice Award. The Audience Choice Award might overlap with one of many different prizes, stated Nickerson.

“This problem pairs nicely with pupil tasks, capstones, and present works,” he stated in a launch. “It can also be a good way for college kids to work with business leaders.”

One of the factors for the problem is that groups should use at the very least two parts offered by MassRobotics’ strategic companions. They embrace AMD‘s robotics starter package, Analog Devices‘ inertial measurement items (IMUs), Danfoss controllers, Festo‘s pneumatic kits, Lattice Semiconductor modules with NVIDIA expertise, Novanta motors, Solidworks design licenses, and numerous programs from Mitsubishi Electric and igus.

“This encourages cross-collaboration between state-of-the-art software program and {hardware} suppliers,” Nickerson stated. “It can’t simply be an AMD board duct-taped on high of a tool.”

“Analog Devices is happy to take part with MassRobotics as soon as once more within the Form and Function Challenge,” said Natalie Brown, principal account supervisor at Analog Devices (ADI). “The problem gives bi-directional studying with expertise that paves the way in which for innovation in robotics and introduces groups to ADI as a future employer, provider, or companion.”

The taking part groups preserve their mental property (IP) however ought to verify with particular person sponsors concerning nondisclosure agreements, stated Nickerson.

MIT's WORMS team placed second in last year's Form and Function Challenge.

MIT’s WORMS workforce positioned second in final 12 months’s Form and Function Challenge. Source: MassRobotics

Form and Function winners to be named on the Robotics Summit & Expo

The groups should construct a system that may “sense, compute, and actuate,” stated MassRobotics. Its judging standards consists of originality, reliability, the problem of the problem being solved, and the system’s end and mission execution.

“We’re not that involved with industrial viability for this problem, however we’re on the lookout for utility,” Nickerson stated. “Is the shape polished, and the way far is it to a ultimate product? We’ll additionally have a look at the workforce dynamic and presentation and technical experience.”

“The options will probably be evaluated by business leaders, not the companions,” he added. “Last 12 months, MITRE and PNG had been judges.”

MassRobotics opened purposes for this 12 months’s Form and Function Robotics Challenge on Dec. 12, 2023, and all are due by Feb. 12, 2024.

The group is on the lookout for about 10 groups from around the globe to take part, however journey just isn’t sponsored, replied Nickerson to questions on the decision. In addition, a workforce can submit a number of entries, and a college can submit a number of groups.

MassRobotics will announce the groups chosen on Feb. 15, and it’ll maintain a compulsory info session on Feb. 21. In-person attendance is most well-liked. The precise submissions are due on April 30.

The groups will showcase their work in devoted area on the Robotics Summit & Expo on May 1 and a pair of on the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. WTWH Media, which produces The Robot Report and the Robotics Summit & Expo, is a strategic companion of MassRobotics.

“The Form and Function Challenge added an exciting dimension to the Robotics Summit in 2023,” stated Steve Crowe, government editor for robotics and WTWH Media and chair of the Robotics Summit & Expo. “It’s at all times nice to see what inventive college students provide you with around the globe. We’re ecstatic to be internet hosting the finals once more on the 2024 Robotics Summit and may’t wait to see the improvements the groups provide you with.”

MassRobotics provided extra info on the best way to apply on its web site.

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