Warwick Mobile Robotics is an undergraduate student research project run by the Warwick Manufacturing Group, the School of Engineering and the Computer Science department. Currently, the team has found support within the University as well as through industry contacts but require additional funds in order to further develop their robot and to compete in the World RoboCup Competition in Istanbul in July. They hope that alumni can help them achieve their ambitions.
The WMR team is made up of 11 fourth-year undergraduate students from varying engineering disciplines and computer science who compete annually in the German RoboCup Rescue Challenge. This competition tests robots’ search and rescue capabilities in simulated disaster zones to not only provide the team with an exciting engineering challenge but also a socially significant real world application for mobile robotics.
The robots are designed to be able to navigate difficult terrain; identify victims through heat, carbon dioxide emission, and visual recognition; and communicate with them with no risk of further human harm. Similar uses have been found in the form of bomb disposal robots and, more recently, in reaching victims of the New Zealand mining disaster.
Currently, the team has found support within the University from research groups (Warwick Manufacturing Group and the Innovative Manufacturing Resource Centre), the School of Engineering and the Vice Chancellor, as well as through their industry contacts but require additional funds in order to further develop the robot and compete in the World RoboCup Competition, taking place in Istanbul in July.
To date, raised funds have been used to develop the team’s working area and purchase a CAD suite for advanced modelling. The team have also managed to raise enough to compete in the German Competition in Easter. Future funds will be put towards purchasing mechanical equipment such as a new robot chassis, the manufacture of a manipulator for pick-and-place capabilities, as well as other vital improvements.
Being able to compete in the World Competition in July would build on the international exposure of a truly worthwhile student research project and will set the stage to challenge future WMR teams.