Montgomery College Students Take Second in Robotics Competition

Montgomery College engineering students and their miniature robot, McBot, earned second place honors in the Micromouse robotics competition at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Region 2 Student Activities Conference held recently at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa.

The Micromouse competition requires students to build and program a small robot that can navigate its way to the center of a random maze in the shortest amount of time possible. Montgomery College was one of 15 colleges and universities to participate in the Micromouse competition and the only two-year college among the 29 schools present at the conference.

“Our students worked very hard in the midst of a very busy semester to finish the robot, and all their efforts were rewarded as they were named the during the awards ceremony at the conference,” said Dr. Uche Abanulo, faculty adviser of the IEEE Montgomery College student branch. Dr. Abanulo accompanied the team to Philadelphia.

Montgomery College students Roshan Rajeev, Ben Greenspon, Rob Benavidez, Ryan Detweiler, Paulina Olmedo, Yanira Gutierrez, Jorge Prado, Rob Hocknell and Jose Mondragon took part in the conference’s competitions, which included the Micromouse competition, a design competition, and a peer-judged project display competition. The Micromouse competition separately judged robots built from scratch and robots built from a kit. McBot, constructed from a kit, featured several electronics that had to be assembled by the students. This involved making the proper circuit connections, soldering, testing the current flow in the circuit, building sensors for the robot, and the robot’s final programming.

The Student Activities Conference attracts student branches from all over IEEE Region 2 for leadership training, student paper competitions, and robotics competitions. It serves as an opportunity for members to meet, interact, exchange ideas and network.

Montgomery College currently has more than 1,000 students majoring in engineering, making it the largest community college engineering program in the country. Students participate in a wide variety of engineering clubs, including robotics and aerospace. After completing courses at Montgomery College, engineering students transfer to the University of Maryland and other top four-year engineering schools.

For more information on Montgomery College’s engineering program, visit www.montgomerycollege.edu/engineering.

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