Western Carolina University – Robotics team finishes third in regional competition

WCU Robotics Team competes at IEEE Southeastcon Hardware Competition

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Southeastcon is a technical conference of electrical engineering professionals and university students. The 2022 IEEE Southeastcon was hosted by the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, March 31 – April 3. Mobile is the location for the first Mardi Gras celebration. The challenge for the 2022 IEEE Southeastcon Hardware Competition was to design an autonomous robot no larger than 12 inches x 12 inches x 12 inches to simulate a Mardi Gras float going down a city roadway during the Mardi Gras celebration. Points were awarded for playing music, illuminating a sign, navigating the course without smashing into sidewalk barricades, clearing the roadway of trash, grabbing beads from a telephone pole and throwing the beads into designated locations along the route.

IEEE Southeastcon hosts both a University and an Open Hardware Competition. The WCU Robotics Team competed in both competitions.

The WCU Robotics Team consists of members of the WCU Student Branch of IEEE. Students from any major are welcome to join the team. The WCU Student Branch of IEEE has competed in 11 Southeastcon Hardware Competitions since 2010. The 2022 WCU Robotics Team is comprised of eight students from the electrical engineering and electrical and computer engineering technology programs.

robotics team picture

Thursday morning, March 31 – Packed up and ready to hit the road
Back row: Stefan Leclair, AJ Mongold, James Nelson, Ben Carpenter, Neil Lukowski, Bob Adams Front row: Keanu Ammons, Kathleen Pippin.

robotics team setting up

Getting set up in the practice room
Upon arrival at the Mobile Conference Center on Friday morning, April 1, the team gets set up in the practice room. Members of the WCU robotics team worked all day and late into the night to prepare for the start of the competition at 8 am, Saturday, April 2. Four of the members stayed up all night.

robotics team at zaxbys

Friday April 1 – Taking a break from practice for dinner at Zaxby’s

WCU robot that competed in the University Hardware Competition; James Nelson placing the WCU robot on the course during the University Hardware Competition;
Judges during the University Hardware Competition

robot in Open Hardware Competition
robot on course


WCU robot that competed in the Open Hardware Competition; Keanu Ammons placing WCU robot on the course for the Open Hardware Competition

robotics team accepting award


WCU students AJ Mongold, Ben Carpenter and Keanu Ammons recognized at the Southeastcon Banquet for their 3rd place finish in the Open Hardware Competition

robotics tshirt 1
robotics tshirt 2


T-shirt designed and fabricated by members of the WCU Robotics Team

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