Engineering Design Thinking I

Have you ever heard of an ant dog? Well, mine was pretty successful. Let me tell you a story about it!

When you come to UC, you’ll see groups of students holding their robots walking around campus. Yes, that’s us, first-year engineering students. We had to build an autonomous robot. It replicated a locomotion method of creatures in nature to use in a Mobile Thermal Depolymerization Plant. My group chose an ant, but we programmed it in such a way that it could bark. So, we named it an ant dog, or a dog-with-six-legs.

(Does it look more like an ant or a dog?)

The bot had to be able to follow the tracks, pick up and drop off the trash bins, and separate trash into three categories- organic, metallic and ceramic. The final demonstration was on the week right before finals, so none of us could have time to actually work on the robot. There were some points that we were about to give up on this project because homework for other classes was piling up, and final exams were coming but we hadn’t prepared at all.


I thought I would just go to the demo, get this robot thing over with and never have to touch it ever again. To my surprise, the final demonstration day was actually fun. Everyone was there, and it was like a big reunion of the whole department. My team’s initial goal was to be just above-average, but magically, this ant dog won FIRST out of all 265 groups and 1400 first year engineering students! Everyone from my team, teaching assistants, and my professor were so excited and glad that our hard work had paid off.

This cool creature will be displayed at 8th floor of Learning Center- Rhodes Hall. Stop by and say hi!

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