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ONU captures first place at National Association of Industrial Technology conference

Dec 1, 2006

Ohio Northern University garnered first place for "Best Electronics and Controls" at the National Association of Industrial Technology (NAIT) national conference in Cleveland on Nov. 16 - 17.

Fifteen institutions competed to create autonomous robots to accomplish a search and rescue task. The robots navigated a course by following a conductive tape on the competition surface, located an object to be rescued (a predefined 8-inch metal conduit), picked up the object and carried it across the finish line.

ONU was the only school to utilize alternate energy storage. The students decided to implement ultracapacitor technology into their robot as the sole power source driving the device.

Ultracapacitor technology is considered a breakthrough in alternate energy storage and is being considered by many automotive companies as an alternative or addition to the battery in the hybrid electric vehicle.

The students designed the system and had a printed circuit board manufactured then spent days installing over 240 surface mount electronic devices to the board. Once completed the ultracapacitor system measured in at 60 volts and 15 farads. It had enough energy to power the robot for close to 30 minutes requiring less than two minutes to recharge. This design featured the use of a drive motor, a steering motor to control the custom designed and rapid prototyped steering, an object lift motor, a custom designed high strength neodymium magnetic actuator, and several innovative sensing devices.

Members of the ONU team were: Mark Stevens, a senior technology major from North Hampton, Ohio; Samantha Ward, a senior technology major from Fairborn, Ohio; Sean Guyett, a senior technology major from Alden, New York; Rob Slater, a senior technology major from Apple Creek, Ohio; and Trevor Robinson, a sophomore technology major from Caledonia, Ohio. Dr. Adam Stienecker, assistant professor of Technological Studies, served as the advisor.

Founded in 1871, Ohio Northern University is a leading, private, student-centered institution that combines the liberal arts with a comprehensive, professional education offered by its five colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business Administration, Engineering, Pharmacy and Law to a diverse student body of more than 3,500. Ranked No. 5 among Midwest comprehensive colleges in the 2007 edition of "America's Best Colleges," Ohio Northern University continues to be the highest ranked Ohio university in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual look at higher education.