Redefining the Classroom

Senior Projects

Our students participate in a senior-year experience which includes one team project or a research team project.

Six engineering students were recognized this past year at two competitions held at professional conferences when it presented “Mobile Robotics Workcell – Using Robotics to Lure Young Minds to Manufacturing Engineering.”

Under the direction of Prof. Jim Devaprasad, the senior project team Automated Promotional Engineering Systems (APES) designed and built a mobile robotics workcell that showcases various automation technologies.

“Given the national need to encourage young minds to seek careers in math and science fields, we hope to entice young individuals to the exciting opportunities in engineering and technology by demonstrating this mobile robotic workcell,” said Devaprasad. “It has already been showcased many times at LSSU in the summer engineering camps and for visitors in the engineering departments.”

The workcell’s robot demonstrates two projects: automatic solving of a user-scrambled Rubik’s cube (above), and the automated assembly of an automotive distributor (below).

Team member Kate Kuuskman, mechanical engineering, from Sault, Ont., and Leith Nader, also mechanical engineering, from Milford, Mich. (now an applications engineer with Kawasaki Robotics in Wixom, Mich.), presented a paper on the project that received honorable mention at the Pan American Federation of Engineering Societies Convention in Atlanta, Ga., last fall. LSSU was one of five universities invited to make presentations, along with Cornell, Michigan Tech, U.S. Air Force Academy and University of Puerto Rico. Fellow teammate and alumnus Brad Bertels of Ironwood, Mich. (now working for RoboTek in Brighton, Mich.) presented the project at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ International Conference of Manufacturing Science and Engineering in Ypsilanti, Mich. Again, LSSU was one of only five finalists invited to participate and present a technical paper. The project took second place in the ASME Student Design Competition behind University of Florida – Gainesville, and ahead of University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and University of New Hampshire.

Coordination of People

The Manufacturing Engineering Technology bachelor’s of science degree is an ABET-accredited program that integrates knowledge from areas of study such as science, math, computers, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, management and economics with an emphasis on preparing you to solve real-world engineering problems. It is a profession that gives you expertise to develop tools, processes, machines and equipment to make quality products at a reasonable cost. The profession also involves working with and coordination of people from several other fields.

There are two options from which to select your emphasis area

  • Robotics & Automation
  • General Manufacturing

In either option students also participate in the senior year experience which includes one of the following:

  • Cooperative experience with industry
  • Industry sponsored team project
  • Research team project

AMT and Bosch Rexroth Sponsor Project

Applied Manufacturing Technologies, Inc. Partners with Bosch Rexroth to Sponsor LSSU Machine Vision Robotics Project

Orion, Mich. – April 14, 2008 – Applied Manufacturing Technologies (AMT), a leading supplier of factory automation design, engineering and process consulting services has sponsored the development of a vision-based robotic workcell as a senior project at Lake Superior State University (LSSU) in Sault Sainte Marie, MI. Designed by the students, with support and guidance from AMT’s Jean-Pierre Rasaiah, the cell identifies and robotically packages consumer products from a moving conveyor. The workcell is based on a multi-axis workcell donated by Bosch Rexroth, including a conveyor system and a motion logic controller. To help complete the project, AMT was also able to arrange the use of a Stäubli RX60 robot & controller, a Cognex DVT Legend 520 SmartImage camera, and a Siemens HMI panel.

“We’ve worked closely with Lake Superior State University for years, and we’re excited to support another strong class of graduating seniors,” commented Joe Campbell, AMT’s COO. “LSSU has developed a world class automation program, and we’re proud to be a small part of their success.” Kevin Gingerich, director of marketing services at Bosch Rexroth in Buchanan, MI says of their donation to the project, “By providing the LSSU team with Rexroth technology, we knew they’d get a chance to work under real-world conditions with world-class automation components.” Gingerich adds, “We were also confident AMT would provide the seniors with good supervision and support. We’re pleased that the timing was right and that we had the opportunity and the means to contribute.”

“Our senior projects provide our students with a simulation of the real-life engineering,” says Dr. Taskin Padir, assistant professor at LSSU, and faculty advisor for this project. “This experience makes sure that they are ready to take the challenge as they graduate and join the engineering work force. That’s why AMT’s support is valued greatly by the students and faculty at LSSU.” The LSSU robotic workcell is built on Rexroth’s aluminum extrusion framework, employing a Bosch Rexroth VarioFlow conveyor system, IndraMotion MLC motion logic controller, IndraDrive Servos and IndraDyn Motors to circulate the products through the cycle.

A Cognex SmartImage camera scans each product as it passes, while the program notifies the Stäubli robot to retrieve aspecific selection and drop it off the line to be packaged. Parameters for the project define a successful running cycle to continue for ten hours with no more than one hour of recovery time. Once the workcell is complete, the workcell will be used as a training device for future students and AMT personnel alike.

Founded in 1989 by Michael Jacobs, AMT is a leading supplier of complete consulting and engineering services, offering single-source engineering solutions to the automation and manufacturing industries. The company’s service offerings range from design and simulation to programming, installation and support of industrial automation solutions. The company’s technical and industry expertise in process automation for the automotive, aerospace, building materials, consumer products, food, heavy equipment, machinery, medical, and truck industries offers its customers the highest quality professional service available in the industrial arena. For more information contact Applied Manufacturing Technologies at 248-409-2000, or online at Reprinted courtesy of Applied Manufacturing