Robotics Team Receives National Accolades

Ga. Tech-Savannah Group Receives Design Award

A robotics team from Georgia Tech-Savannah received a design award during the recent Marine Advanced Technology Education Center's (MATE) 2009 International Student Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition. The Georgia Tech team was among more than 20 collegiate finalists competing in the challenge to design and build ROVs that function as submarine rescue systems.

The MATE competition, a first for Georgia Tech-Savannah, was held at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The Savannah team received the "design elegance" award and was commended for their ROV's design aesthetics, simplicity and functionality. "The success of this team exemplifies Georgia Tech-Savannah's close community of undergraduates and graduate engineering students," said David Frost, director of Georgia Tech-Savannah. "Their inspired creativity and work ethic is typical of our hands-on approach to education." Faculty sponsor Fumin Zhang, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, provided limited direct guidance. "Virtually all the labor, ideas, programming and fabrication came from the students," he said.

"We started with a core group of four Georgia Tech-Savannah students six months ago," explained team captain Justin Shapiro, an interdisciplinary robotics Ph.D. candidate at Georgia Tech who came from Rutgers University. "We realized that this project would allow us to apply what we learned in class, and then push beyond what we learned." Along with Shapiro from Cranbury, N.J., the Georgia Tech-Savannah team included the following members: Angel Berrocal, Silver Spring, Md.; Chasen Born, Tarrytown, Ga.; Steven Bradshaw, Cleveland, Ohio; Spencer Burch, Brunswick, Ga.; Matt Carroll, Lavonia, Ga.; Brandon Groff, Lancaster, Pa.; Scott Hales, Frisco, Texas; Winton Key, Fort Knox, Ky.; Jasmine Magerkurth, Warner Robins, Ga.; Leslie Maldonado, Miami, Fla.; Sean Maxon, Richmond Hill, Ga.; and Richard Nguyen, Marietta, Ga.

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