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Project Updates: Prosthetic Hand

By: Bryce Johnson

As of now, the prosthetic hand is in a state of partial completion. All of the 3D printed parts are made and the majority of the components needed have been obtained. The fingers of the hand have been assembled and will be ready to attach to the motors once they have been tested for functionality. There are three main aspects of the project that the group is currently working on: construction of the prototype hand, EEG sensor research, and hand control systems. The group aims to have the hand built by the end of October. For the rest of the semester the plan is to add functionality to the hand by having it mimic a human hand’s motion along with continued research relating to EEG sensors and control of the hand using an EEG sensor as the input. This prosthetic hand is an exciting way for students to work on a challenging interdisciplinary project having a real world impact. New team members are always welcome. Our Facebook group, WSU Robotics Medical Device Team, announces our meeting times and has additional information about our project.

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Resume Building: From the Industry’s Perspective

by Gabriel de la Cruz

The club have seen the importance of inviting someone from the industry to talk about resume from their perspective. Also, with members who are vastly engineering or computer science students, a lot of the officers have met questions from fellow students on what they should put down as their technical skills or how one should cite the programming languages they know and how they should rate each. Having a speaker from the industry will not only help us answer these questions but will also be able to provide reasons to why they want to see them on the resume. The industry’s perspective is most valuable as they are the one who will be perusing the student’s submitted resumes and will make the decision based on the resume to whether you are getting to the next step of the hiring process.

Robotics Club, through its vice-president, Marcus Blaisdell, a CS student who is also doing internship at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), invited a speaker from SEL to give the members of the club a talk about resume.

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Curt Geertgens, a SEL Development Support Manager, gave a talk on “The Perfect Resume: for Engineering Students.” The speaker was very pleased and even gave a complement for having a huge attendance, with over 50+ students during the talk. Members were engaged throughout the talk and had lots of questions during and after the talk.

Also present in the talk where Dr. Swensen and Dr. Janeth who helped examine the resumes brought by some members.

Click here to download slides of the talk.

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Biggest Robotics Club in PNW?!?!

Robotics Club hold its first meeting of the Fall on September 3rd at the Intelligent Robot Learning Laboratory (IRL Lab). It was a well-attended meeting with over 60 students. The meeting was hosted by the club’s president, Austin Bonnes, who is a Mechanical Engineering student. The rest of the club officers were also present in the meeting. The meeting started with an opening from the president, who talked about what the club is about, what it offers, and what it expects from its members. Kayl Coulston, a CS student and the club’s Community Outreach officer shortly talked about the club’s past community outreach programs and the plans for this year. Gabriel de la Cruz, a CS graduate student then talked about the tutorials the club are planning to do this semester.

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Dr. Swensen (on red shirt) speaking to the club.

The club also introduce the newest addition to its advisory board, our club’s new co-adviser Dr. John Swensen, who is a new professor at the ME Department. Also present is Dr. Kshitij Jerath, who is also a new professor in the ME Department who will help mentor the club.

The president went on to talked about the different projects planned this year which includes: Mars Rover, Robotic Arm, Battlebot, Medical Robot, and Beer Pong Robot. The team leaders for each project were given the opportunity to pitch to the club’s new members about their respective project and why they should join their team. New members were then given the opportunity to go around to meet with each team project to allow them to select and join a project(s) they were interested in.

The club would like to thank the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for providing beverages for the event.

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Successful Fall Recruiting Events

Robotics Club has been very active in its effort to recruit new members to join the club this Fall semester. At the same time, as part of our mission, we are also making an effort to increase awareness about robotics in the WSU community. Listed below are the different events the club participated at:

Also throughout the first and second week of classes, officers have selected a few number of EECS and ME classes in which they will speak about the club.

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An Exciting New Feature for the Club

An Exciting New Feature for the Club

The Robotics Club is proud to announce an exciting new feature in the IRL Lab (Intelligent Robotics Learning Laboratory). We often are so engrossed in our projects that we forget to take a step back to photograph or record what we are doing. It would be perfect if there was a way to automatically record our work so that we can share with others the progress of our projects and the processes required to make our robots come to life. We needed some sort of camera to capture all the detail, and our club obtained one HD security camera from 123 Security Cameras.

While testing our IP 2 Megapixel Dome Camera, we found it ideal for our purposes because its high-definition imagery can help us properly identify faces. The quality of video produced by the camera will also result in great footage of the cool things we do here that we can share with those on campus and around the world!

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IP 2 Megapixel Dome Camera

After testing our first camera and learning more about the technology it was only a matter of hours that we realized how useful these IP cameras can be for us. Having even more resolution than 1080P would be beneficial as we have small tools and parts that sometimes find a way to walk away. Sometimes we find that our tools have been misused, which can result in permanent damage. Of course this damage is not intentional, but we find it difficult to make responsible persons aware of proper procedures. So we did our research and found these IP cameras up to 5 megapixels from CCTV Camera World that we will be using to help maintain our equipment. 5 Megapixel cameras are able to provide even higher resolution video that affords the ability to zoom in and recognize small detail better than 1080p cameras. Now we can help ensure that our equipment and tools remain useful for years to come. In addition, it will help us track down tools that have been borrowed, but forgotten to be returned.

We also discovered that these security cameras were also great for uses other than security. They have built-in web servers that can provide video over a RTSP stream which can be injected in to virtually any application. We plan to use one of the cameras with Open Broadcaster Software for live streaming our club meetings and work nights.

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Robotics Workshop for Girl Scouts

According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, statistics shows that in 2014, while women takes 41% of the total U.S. Workforce — there are only 25% in the computer and mathematical sciences while only 13% are in engineering. Thus the club wants to reach out to such community to educate and empower, especially young girls as they represent the future for the STEM field.

The Robotics Club organized a Robotics Workshop together with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho that was well attended with 41 girl scouts. The club used the Robotics Workshop as a tool to show these young ladies what they can build or make even at a very young age. The workshop provided hands-on tutorials on building simple circuits, building a basic DC motor, and build Lego robots. They also got to experience flying quadrotors and had a tour WSU’s Frank Innovation Zone where they got to see different types of 3D printers in action.

Although the club spearheaded the planning and organization of this event, we also had volunteers from the Society of Women Engineers and Robosub of the Palouse.

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