Thursday, March 21, 2013

Germanna Applied Engineering Club demos D.R.O.I.D. Diverse Remote-Operated Inspection Device

Thursday at GCC's Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania, the Germanna Community College Applied Engineering Club and Dr. Davyda Hammond demonstrated a robot the club built "with the Fukushuma power plant meltdown disaster in mind. It has the ability to navigate into areas too dangerous and restricting to send personnel. Two onboard cameras allow both a forward-tilting view and a 310-degree pan and tilt view. Being able to see what is going on is only part of the D.R.O.I.D's mission. It's able to manipulate instruments from 10 inches away with its probe, drop remote sensors and retrieve sensors." The device weighs about nine pounds and "no dimension is greater than 14.25 inches." Club members used an Xbox controller to operate it via a Wi-Fi connection with an indoor range of 230 feet and "virtually unlimited range when connected over the Internet." It uses a laser guidance system and has a top speed of 1.56 miles per hour.

The club and D.R.O.I.D. made a strong showing at the recent ASME Student Professional Development Conference at the University of Virginia, finishing second in student design for D.R.O.I.D., second in Web page design by Tristan Jones, second in Poster Presentation by Andrew Hallet and fourth for an oral presentation by Brian Keefer.