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King Kong of the Robots

April 19, 2010 – A device to reconnect severed arteries, a rescue robot for trapped miners, a domestic windmill and a human-powered elevator are among senior design projects that will be showcased Tuesday, April 20, during the University of Utah‘s 13th annual Mechanical Engineering Design Day.

Mechanical engineering juniors will conduct a “mechatronics” competition, during which robots playing the role of King Kong will race to capture a doll representing actress Fay Wray and climb a model of the Empire State Building. Freshmen will compete in a Robot Biathlon in which their autonomous robots race around a course while shooting at targets.

The public and news media are invited to the event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in and around the ballroom of the A. Ray Olpin Union Building . Faculty and students will be available to answer questions.

“Design Day gives us an opportunity to showcase the amazing work being done by our undergraduate student body,” says Tim Ameel, professor and chair of the university’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “It is inspiring to see what can be accomplished when you combine innovative thinking, state-of-the-art facilities and world renowned faculty.”

Mechanical Engineering Design Day events are:

Senior Design Showcase – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Union Ballroom.

Mechatronics Competition (King Kong) – 10 a.m. to noon in the Saltair Room.

Robot Biathlon – noon to 2 p.m. in the West Ballroom.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah is committed to providing students with a broad-based, rigorous and progressive education. By combining state-of-the-art facilities with renowned faculty, the department provides an education that gives students the necessary skills to become the next generation of innovators. For more information about the Department of Mechanical Engineering, visit

List of Senior Design Showcase projects:

Adjustable Duty Cycle Bike Crank Military Paramedic Shield
Arterial Coupling Device NASA Great Moonbuggy Race
Carbon Fiber Snowmobile Frame Paracycle Team
Cave Crawling Robot SAE Baja
Domestic Windmill Shear Strain Extensometer
Energy Production from Ocean Waves Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
Fingertip Tactile Feedback Device Unmanned Aerial Vehicle I
Grand Canyon Rafting Electric Motor USB Solar Panel Tracking System
Human Powered Elevator Variable Diameter Sprocket
Inertial Measurement Unit Wearable Hand Exoskeleton