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Posters hanging on the walls, groups in crazy uniforms and a large table with plastic eggs scattered around it. A crowd of more than 20 stopped by the third floor of Olsen to see these things come together for the 5th Annual Robotic Egg Hunt.
UMass Lowell’s Robotics I class and Graphic Design III class combined to design and create visual identities for their own robot.
“We have a clear separation of responsibility,” says Fred Martin, Robotics I professor. “My students are responsible for the robot design and implementation engineering and the graphic design students create the identity campaigns for the robots.”
Each robot had a name and a team of four to six students contributing to its design and characteristics. There were five teams in all: V Bot, Eggdumptruckinator, El Capitan Huevo, Eggsecutive, and Demolitron, this year’s winner. Each team had its own “uniforms” and posters and were given time before the competition to explain what they were wearing and how they designed their machine.
“The graphic designers work in teams to create logos, posters, brochures. While there is a collaborative element, each design team is required to approach this project as though the Robotics students are their clients,” says Graphic Design Professor Karen Roehr.
Two robots competed at a time. They were put on a table that had 15 blue eggs and 15 yellow plastic eggs scattered around it. The robots had cameras to distinguish between the colored eggs and were each assigned a color to capture. They were given 90 seconds to round up as many of their colored eggs as they could and push them into a nest at the end of the playing field.
The Robotic Egg Hunt taught the Robotics I students to build a robot from scratch, including mechanical design, motor drive mechanisms, sensors and software programming. It gave the Graphic Design students opportunity to work for a "client" and hone their creativity. While the bulk of their work was done separately, the two classes met with their groups in the final stages of the project to perfect the identity of their robot and their team.