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Lockheed Martin Donates $10,000 to Expand Robotics Development at Embry-Riddle's Prescott Campus
Prescott, Ariz., December 8, 2008
Lockheed Martin has donated $10,000 to expand robotics exploration at the College of Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott campus. The gift will help more students learn about robotics and will help to promote interest and inspire innovation in the field, such as the student-designed underwater remote-controlled rescue robot, “Medusa,” which won first place in the university division at the National Underwater Robotics Challenge recently held in Chandler, Ariz.
Based on the University’s mission to support robotics and unmanned aviation vehicle research, the Lockheed Martin donation is part of a recent expansion at the University, according to Prescott Chancellor Dan Carrell. “Embry-Riddle has invested in a new Robotics Laboratory in the College of Engineering, to support engineering robotics education and student projects and to promote multidisciplinary robotics and autonomous vehicle research.”
The lab now boasts a six-degree-of-freedom industrial assembly robot to support traditional manufacturing robotic design and a series of mobile robotics platforms for autonomous research. For ground-based mobile robotics, the lab uses differential drive robots that integrate microprocessor-controlled pan-tilt cameras for computer vision, embedded Linux computers, and dedicated motor controllers. In support of underwater autonomous robotics, the lab is home for the “Medusa” student project enabling further national autonomous competition.
The Lockheed Martin gift will be instrumental in expanding the lab facilities to add a mechanical/electronics component to the curriculum. “Robotics, with their mechanisms, actuators, and sensors, are highly dependent on electronics for processing and control. A multidisciplinary education that includes electronics and real-time systems is key to preparing our aerospace and mechanical engineering students to help them develop their design approach, research, and future value to employers,” said Dr. John Nafziger, head of the Robotics Laboratory. “We’ve added new computers and instrumentation for data acquisition and for real-time sensor filtering and motor control.”
“We’re proud to be able to support the communities where our employees live and work. It’s particularly important to us that this gift will be used to encourage students’ interest in science, math, and engineering, and inspire a future generation of aviation leaders,” said Dan Courain, vice president of Lockheed Martin Transportation Services.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master's and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit http://www.embryriddle.edu, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and facebook.com/EmbryRiddleUniversity, and find expert videos at YouTube.com/EmbryRiddleUniv.