The South Dakota State University (SDSU) Robotics Club is the largest multidisciplinary engineering organization on campus and is continuing to grow at a fast pace! We ended last year with just under 50 members and 25 active members, and this year the ratio of males to females improved. We are split into two teams - Autonomous Sprayer Project and the Collegiate Combat Robotics Competition team, which are split into three weight categories. We are excited to keep designing, building, and testing, but we can’t do that without your help!
We have our general meetings bi-weekly (same week as JEC) in Crothers Engineering Hall, room 204.
The SDSU Robotics Club stemmed from a senior design project group in 2009 and morphed into a hobbyist club for college students who love expanding their knowledge. Over the past five years, the club has grown to be a nationally competitive team. We received national recognition by winning the Land O’Lakes Bot Shot competition in 2019. After going head-to-head with some of the top engineering universities in the country and coming out on top, we knew we were ready for a bigger challenge. Three years ago, we decided to shoot for the moon and were accepted to compete in the NASA Lunabotics Robotic Mining Challenge. Even though we worked hard on the project, we decided to discontinue our involvement in this competition due to the uncertainties of COVID-19. Instead, we decided to change the focus of the club and we took the opportunity to build our other teams, including the Collegiate Combat Robotics, which had a bot qualify for the World Championship Competition in May of 2022. We were also given the opportunity to take on a consulting project from a professional engineer- the Autonomous Sprayer Project, which we have been able to test and improve our designs.
Awards and Achievements
2018: 1st place - at Spark Fun Autonomous Vehicle Competition
2019: Grand Champion - Land O' Lakes Bot Shot Competition
2021: Recipient - Board of Regions Award of Organizational Leadership
2022: World Championship Qualifier - National Havoc Robot League
The club has a dedicated room in Daktronics Engineering Hall for all the 3D printers that are used for various projects. Having our own 3D printers is something that is not only beneficial for time and expenses but also gives the members an opportunity to get some experience they normally may not be able to.
The Autonomous Sprayer Project is a newer addition to the club, established in the spring semester of 2022. We are working to create a fully autonomous robot that will spray pesticides on rows of crops in a vineyard located in Owatonna, Minnesota. The prototype sprayer was tested on October 2nd, 2022, at the vineyard, and has since then gotten closer to the final rendition of the frame and autonomy. This team is not a competition team, rather, they are doing a consulting-type project that could eventually be mass-produced and used in sustainable farming.
The Collegiate Combat Robotics team is a recent addition to the SDSU Robotics Club. Last year in May 2022, our 30-lb robot, “Roadkill”, qualified for the World Championship Competition that was to take place in December, but the weather did not allow our team to attend. We just returned from Norwalk, Connecticut on March 18th, 2023, where we brought three robots: one each in the weight categories of 3lb, 12lb, and 30lb. The Norwalk Havok Robotics League competition features all sizes of robots competing in a gladiator-style battle. The tournament includes 1v1 matches as well as 2v2s, rumbles, grudge matches, and more.
We are an inclusive, student-driven team of SDSU students who have a passion for tackling tough problems through competitive robotics, increasing our technical and workforce skills, and presenting effective solutions. Newly founded in 2023, Jacks VEX U students compete in the collegiate division of the VEX Robotics Competition, VEX U. In VEX U, teams are tasked with designing and building two robots to compete head-to-head against hundreds of universities from all around the world. The VEX Robotics Competition presents a new game-based engineering challenge every year.
Every other Monday at 7:00pm in Crothers Engineering Hall, room 204. General business of the operation of the club is shared along with project updates.
President: Hailey Gruber
Vice President of Communications: Cherish Stern
Vice President of Finances: Haley Evenson
Recruitment and Retainment Officer: Connor Matthies
Facilities Officer: Austin Guenther
Adviser: Mr. Jason Sternhagen
Facebook: SDSU Robotics Club
YouTube: SDState Robotics Club
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