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ONU robotics team wins gold award at robotics competition

May 8, 2018

The ONU Department of Technological Studies’ robotics team received a gold award at the recent National Robotics Challenge in Marion, Ohio.

ONU’s robotics team built an automated manufacturing work cell that produces fidget spinners from raw materials. They used a robotic arm to load and unload an EMCO CNC (computer numerical control) mill. The mill cut out the hole for the bearing, and the robot placed the spinner frame in a custom-designed and -built pneumatic-press system that then pressed the bearing into the fidget spinner as a force fit with a calculated known force.

Once the bearing was pressed in, the robot picked up the finished product and dropped it in the finish shoot for distribution. The team integrated a circuit, PLC controls, programming and automated-capable equipment (CNC mill) to produce a fully manufactured product that contains different levels of quality-assurance checkpoints throughout the system.

Members of the team were Aaron Fashing of Wakeman, Ohio; Evan Hickey of Wilmington, Ohio; Cal Huffman of Wooster, Ohio; Walker Karg of Upper Sandusky, Ohio; Nathan McCollum of Wooster, Ohio; Zach Meronoff of North Canton, Ohio; and Joey Warnecke of Columbus Grove, Ohio. Team advisors for the competition were Dr. Joseph Ekong, Dr. Rich Miller and Steve Fisher.

The Department of Technological Studies was also a sponsor of the event and hosted a display booth where faculty member Dr. Feng Jao led three senior students, TJ Hoersten, Gregory Philips and Patrick Bryant, in showcasing the departmental programs and demonstrating robots that were designed by former students.

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