I recently had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Arizona State University (ASU) Engineering Polytechnic School Innovation Showcase at the Mesa, AZ campus.
The Innovation Showcase is an exhibit showing student-produced projects that solve real-world problems with innovative and imaginative solutions by ASU students. The teams collaborate with industry partners both in both local areas and around the world. The students create solutions to meet tangible industry and society needs to make the world a better place for its people.
What follows are a few of the interesting projects that caught my eye.
The first team I met was composed of Shannon Ault, Calvin Birr, and Brandon Larson had Dr. Sangram Redkar as their mentor on this project. This team chose a structurally sound mechanical design using chrome-moly steel tubing coupled with a relatively simple, but functional electronics package which included electronic bike wheels and hub motors. The power supply was composed of two battery packs with 336W capability. A simple remote control was used to steer the vehicle.
I share your sentiment that it is encouraging to see young engineers showing ability in engineering. It was only 2 to 3 decades ago that the robot arm project would have been pushing the frontiers of research.
The loop project reminds me of the Launch Loop concept developed by polymath Keith Lofstrom, when in his 20s and working a "day job" in Tektronix IC design at the time. The project is-was grandiose and has yet to reach fruition but has been the springboard to ServerSky (server-sky dot com) and other more readily achievable projects. Hopefully, some of these younger minds will choose a bright idea and persist with it until it is realized, as Keith is doing.