WSU Vancouver Engineering Students Design Robots for Competition

VANCOUVER –The WSU Vancouver mechanical engineering freshman class will hold their annual robotic rope climbing contest 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12 in the Multimedia Classroom building, room 6. This event is free and open to the public.

There are 23 students competing in teams of two to three students each. The students have size, weight and cost guidelines but they have to start from scratch to design and produce their robot. The machines must climb seven feet up a rope with a motor powered by one or two 9V batteries, with no supporting wall behind the rope.

 “We have these competitions to get the student more involved, so they can get an idea of what lies ahead for them in the program,” said engineering professor Wei Xue. “This contest will show the students’ creativity, ingenuity, clear thinking, and the ability to turn ideas into reality.”

 “This contest is a perfect project for freshmen because it allows them to think from an engineer’s point of view, by using the trial and error method to figure out what causes something to work or not,” said freshman Nick Buck. “This project is important to me because it gives me an understanding of how a product can be designed, prototyped, and presented under a certain criteria and deadline. I really like the fact that the math we learn and use is related to real world situations and problems.” 

Xue said ideally each year is a different assignment, but last year’s students had so much fun with this assignment that he decided to do it again.

Learn more about the WSU Vancouver mechanical engineering program at