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Uncategorized / 13.11.2018

Michael von Spakovsky, professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering and director of the Center for Energy Systems Research at Virginia Tech, has been named the Robert E. Hord Jr. Mechanical Engineering Professor by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. The Robert E. Hord Jr. Professorship of Mechanical Engineering was established by a gift from the late Robert E. Hord Jr. Hord, who earned his bachelor’s degree in 1949 and a master’s degree the following year, both from the College of Engineering, was an enthusiastic supporter of Virginia Tech’s chemical and mechanical engineering programs. The professorship acknowledges and rewards faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering who have shown exceptional merit in research, teaching, and/or service. Recipients hold the position...

News, Uncategorized / 11.06.2018

The evolution of bipedal robots may follow a road once traveled by living species – the inclusion of a tail. In the Robotics and Mechatronics Lab of Pinhas Ben-Tzvi, associate professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, the tail has become a captivating solution for the problem of bipedal and quadrupedal robot stabilizing and maneuvering. “If you’ve seen robotic quadrupeds, they are very big and very expensive, with articulated legs incorporating multiple degrees of freedom,” said Ben-Tzvi. “The machines use the leg’s multiple degrees of freedom to maneuver and stabilize so if they are pushed from the side, the legs adjust like a human to keep it from falling.” The problem is that with legs so complex, they are large and...

News, Uncategorized / 11.06.2018

BWX Technologies, Inc. presented a check for $4,000 to the department for the senior design program to go toward a project next year working alongside QL+. BWXT and non-profit QL+ joined forces this year as well, resulting in a push-up plank device to help a retired Army officer who lost her arm and shoulder maintain her fitness. In the photo above, Azim Eskandarian, department head and Nicholas and Rebecca Des Champs Chair, stands with Jodee Harris (BSME '16) and Jackson Sale (BSME '15) of BWXT, and associate professor of practice Robin Ott, senior design program director....

News, Uncategorized / 11.06.2018

The Virginia Tech AgBot team clinched first place in the third annual AgBot Challenge May 19 at Gerrish Farms in Rockville, Indiana, earning a top award of $30,000. The 2018 event, hosted by Gerrish Farms and airBridge LLC, was broken into two separate challenges – weed and feed, and harvesting – with university and industry teams competing head-to-head for $100,000 in prizes. Virginia Tech’s team won the watermelon harvesting challenge by creating an autonomous system that could identify, sort, and harvest ripe watermelons in a field. Each team in the harvesting competition was scored in mechanics, software, innovativeness of their solution, and execution of their solution. To build a harvester and the autonomous vehicle that pulls it, two separate teams were formed. A...