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Oklahoma State University

Mercury Remote Robot Challenge at Oklahoma State Unviersity

STILLWATER, Okla. – The College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology at Oklahoma State University held their annual Mercury Remote Robot Challenge (MRRC) with participating teams in electrical and computer engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering and other disciplines in engineering.

This competition is an international, interscholastic robotics competition that has challenged engineering students since 2010. MRRC competitors design and build a robot capable of performing a specific mission. The robot must be operated remotely from at least 50 miles away.

“This presents an interesting engineering challenge in which electrical and mechanical design, embedded programming, wireless communication, and latency all play a large role,” said Dr. Carl Latino, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at OSU.

Teams from around the world signed up to participate this year including teams from Universidad del Magdalena (Bogota Colombia), Corporacion Unificada Nacional (CUN in Bogota Columbia), Universidad ECCI (Bogota, Colombia), Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, West Virginia University and Davis and Elkins College (West Virginia).

“The furthest controlled robot came in third place where the driver was in Indonesia,” said Latino. “The driver, Wira Mulia, is also one of the co-creators of this event.”

This year, the championship went to OSU electrical and computer engineering seniors Zachary Brundage, Jackson Delametter, Kyle Fanning and Zachary Scheib. Their robot, named Scorpion, was a Senior Design 2 Project and was driven from Edmond, Okla.

“Preparing for this competition reminded me that it’s important to always stay positive even when things go wrong” said Fanning. “Multiple times we had parts fail or ideas that didn’t work out, but every time we went back to the drawing board and found a new possible solution to try. It also reminded me that even though a single task may seem simple, it’s a good idea to start working early because something will inevitably be more complicated than anticipated.”

Second place went to a team from West Virginia University. Team members included Nathan Bolles, Connor Fitz and Saurabh Sawant. Their robot, Speed Waffle, was driven from Morgantown, West Virginia.

Additionally, there were awards for Best Video, Best Design and Judge’s Choice.

Since the competition began, it’s been replicated in Puebla, Mexico twice and in Bogota, Columbia three times. Paraiba, Brazil, West Virginia University and other universities have held internal mercury competitions to determine which teams would participate in the MRRC held in Stillwater or Bogota.

“We have been participating in the MRRC since 2015,” said West Virginia University’s computer science and electrical engineering professor Powsiri Klinkhachorn. “I believe these competitions increase students’ knowledge and skills while better preparing them for what might be expected in their future careers. I am impressed with the students’ ability to use rapidly growing computer technology to solve complex problems in robotics, and I see the excitement in their eyes when their physical creations become reality! I have found that these types of hands-on, technology-oriented projects get students excited about learning while providing an intellectual challenge.”

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Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 35,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 24,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 240,000 students who have been serving the state of Oklahoma, the nation and the world.



Pictured from left to right:  Kyle Fanning, Zach Brundage, Dr. Carl Latino, MRRC President Trevor Huizenga, Jackson Delametter and Zach Scheib