USC Viterbi students turned in a strong performance at the recent American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Region VI Student Conference in San Diego University, winning the top honors in the undergraduate category and team category, and securing an honorable mention in the graduate category.
Eric Teegarden (senior in aerospace engineering) and Ryan Jansen (a senior in a joint BS-MS in astronautical engineering) won the first place in the undergraduate category, which carries a $500 prize and a spot at the AIAA Aerospace Sciences meeting next January in Nashville, where they will compete against undergraduate winners of the other 6 AIAA regions.
Eric Teegarden: Nashville bound
USC Viterbi students also placed first in the team category. Alec Winetrobe (B.S. aerospace engineering), Michael Jacobs (B.S. mechanical engineering) and Matthew Dung (B.S. mechanical engineering) placed first with their project "Analysis and Design of a Sphere-Mounted Robot for Integration into Human Environments." Winetrobe said, “We wanted to make a robot that intuitively stabilized from outside stimuli, like a Segway, but had an even smaller footprint and thus was more versatile in human environments.”
The team developed a prototype of a robot that balanced and drove a base sphere, and used this prototype to test the limiting factors in their design to try and create the most cost-effective robot possible. They succeeded in determining many of these limitations and plan on reproducing a more robust scale model of the Sphere-Mounted Robot in the future.
In the graduate category, Pedro Llanos, a Ph.D. candidate in the Astronautical Engineering Department, won an honorable mention. His paper was on
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) sponsors this annual conference as a means of encouraging students in aerospace and related fields to discuss research, exchange knowledge, and generate interest in the field of aerospace engineering. For more information, see the conference website at https://region6.aiaastudentconference.org/.