Four teams pitched their ideas on Oct. 5 to our panel of judges in the MNE Innovation Competition. The teams were required to have at least one mechanical engineering undergraduate student, but other members of the team could be from any major--making this a true interdisciplinary effort!
The first team to present (pictured at left) proposed a vertical greenhouse that will allow small-footprint organic agricultural production. Team members are Jared Yarnall-Schane (mechanical engineering), Dustin Betz (biology), Mike Ghen (computer engineering), Michael Zaengle (architecture), Jonathan Gumble (landscape contracting), and Kenneth Palamara (environmental engineering).
Modular Robotics Kit
The second team proposed to create a reconfigurable modular robotics kit to introduce the concept of robotics to middle school, high school and college students, thereby generating interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Team members include Randy Schur, Peter Heibert, and Chris Dickson, all mechanical engineering seniors.
Interactive Hand Device
The third team proposed an interactive device for the hand that would facilitate physical communication and interaction with the technologies around us, like computers and television. It would also have applications in robotics technologies. Team members include Zack Francis, a senior mechanical engineering major, and Eli Knebel, a senior computer engineering major.
Geoffrey Andrews was the last presenter, and he proposed an idea to produce a low-cost, lightweight robotic hand using stereolithography with potential applications in prosthesis development. Andrews is a sophomore mechanical engineering major.