UMD Students Create Robot to Climb Walls, Deploy Items in Hostile Territory

The students designed the rover for this year's U.S. Air Force Research Lab Challenge.

DULUTH, Minn.- From the minds of UMD Students comes a robot that can climb walls, carry and drop off items — their entry in this year’s Air Force Research Lab Challenge.

The challenge was to design a remote controlled, autonomous robot that could climb walls and deploy sensors or cameras in hostile territory.

UMD’S rover is outfitted with a moveable camera for visibility, and four wheels and two propellers which allow the driver to actually drive it up walls to deliver payloads in places a human can’t reach, or where they could be compromised.

According to the design team, subject matter experts during the process said they could see the Air Force or other agencies using their robot in the field.

“It’s really impactful for sure and it really just makes you think this isn’t just a school project it has real life consequences and benefits of course,” said Corey Knutson, Main Programming Lead and Main Driver.

“It’s really just a taste of the real world while you’re in school for sure,” he said.

Due to the pandemic, universities sent videos of their robots performing tasks to be judged.

The UMD team says they will know within the next two weeks whether they’ve won.

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