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Aquatic Bots Make a Splash


May 09, 2006

On Tuesday, ASU Fulton School of Engineering students tested their latest creations - robots that work off the suction line of the Student Recreation Center's (SRC) pool on the Tempe campus.

Students are applying what they are learning in a robotics class taught by faculty from the engineering program at the Polytechnic campus, instrument machinist Larry Duff, class project coordinator and laboratory supervisor Sean Dengler, with help from graduate teaching assistant R. Eric McMaster from the Herberger College of Fine Arts.

All of the products had a functional purpose relating to a pool, from entertainment and cleaning to keeping bathers cool. Some of their creations took on the look of a shark, tortoise, turtle, battleship or some other form, with the help of McMasters and rapid prototyping equipment at the Polytechnic campus.

After conducting research, developing ideas and creating their product, the seven teams put their ideas to the test, judged on functionality, marketability, engineering creativity and aesthetics. In addition to demonstrating their products, students had to write a report, give a presentation and create a poster.

The senior-level course was such a splash that it will be adapted for the sophomore engineers at the Polytechnic campus next fall.