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Adelaide Uni's Mech Expo 2010: photos

The University of Adelaide recently held its Mech Expo 2010, which showcased the feats and robotic creations of its mechanical engineering students to the public.
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By Colin Ho on
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One of the showcased creations, Edward 2010, is a di-wheel vehicle that seems to draw upon Star Wars for inspiration.

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The Edward project was designed by Luke Francou, Jack Parsons, Bo Zhu and Ben Wright under the supervision of associate professor Ben Cazzolato.

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It is possible for the di-wheel to be driven while upside down.

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Similar to the Edward 2010, the Micycle is a self-balancing electric unicycle that was awarded a 2010 Open Day Innovation Fund.

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This project was designed by Ben Cazzolato, David Keith Caldecott, Andrew John Edwards, Matthew Anthony Haynes, Miroslav Jerbic, Andrew Christopher Kadis and Rhys James J. Madigan.

Riders lean forward to accelerate, back to brake and turn by applying pressure on the foot rests. According to the program notes, "with an expected 30-minute learning time, the Micycle brings unicycling to the balance-challenged".

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Dubbed SON of EDGAR (which stands for State-Space Control of Electro-Drive Grav-Aware Ride), this Segway-like vehicle has a more powerful motor and better steering for uneven surfaces than normal models. It also has wireless communications to allow researchers to track its movements.

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More SON of EDGAR action. Mech way for the future!

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High school students and teachers were encouraged to visit the exhibition. There were over 60 creations showcased.

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These projects took over 300 hours of combined labour from the students. Corporate sponsors and mentors also helped bring the projects to life.

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Many of the projects were completed within corporate time frames and specifications, giving the students a taste of what it's like working in the industry.

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This robot is one of the survivors of the university's MAGIC 2010 project, which created a team of unmanned ground vehicles to autonomously search and map out hazardous environments.

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Among other projects and research demonstrations were electric motorcycles. According to Cazzolato, the School of Mechanical Engineering has been developing alternative systems to power vehicles for the last half a decade.

These three alternative fuel motorcycles were built this year. From left to right: a compressed gas bike, an electric bike and a high-performance biodiesel bike, which was created to try and break the world land speed record for biodiesel bikes.

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