Take three mechatronics students and give them a fourth-year project. Add a love of music and over 300 hours of work. The result? A robotic guitar that was part of the mechatronics design symposium that took place March 31 in the university's Student Life Centre.
Greg Fitzgerald, left, Deryk Morrish, centre, and Stephen Tufts designed the computer-controlled guitar called the Robot Johnson.
The guitar is comprised of three independent mechanisms to control the instrument's fretting, strumming and muting. Controlled by a computer or a game controller with chords pre-programmed into the buttons, the guitar covers a three octave range.
"Rock and blues songs sound great on it and anything with a lot of finger-picking works well too. The Robot Johnson can also do some things that a person would find quite difficult to do, such as play a melody and the accompaniment at the same time," says Tufts.
While one of the other 35 projects at the symposium was designed to detect land mines (see In The News) and many others were aimed at helping the environment and the disabled, the Robot Johnson team members wanted to design something for pure enjoyment.
"We're all really into music and into guitar," says Tufts. "And this one has some pretty cool applications."
Engineering students named as top teachers
Two engineering graduate students are among three campus-wide who will receive the University of Waterloo’s 2008 Distinguished Teaching by a Student Award. The award, one of the university’s highest, will be presented to Andrew Dilts of management sciences and Amirhossein Hajimiragha of electrical and computer engineering during the convocation ceremony in which they graduate.
Dates: March 28 to April 4
Location: Conestoga Mall, King St., Waterloo
A team of Waterloo architecture students is participating in this fund raising competition to design and build sculptures from food cans. Money raised will support the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.
Waterloo Engineering Jazz Band
Date: April 8
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Humanities Theatre
Proceeds from the concert featuring Waterloo Engineering's With Respect to Time jazz band will go to the Food Bank of Waterloo Region and Engineers Without Borders. Tickets are available for $10 at the Humanities Theatre box office. Check out the band playing It Don't Mean a Thing (If Ain't Got That Swing).
Chemical engineering lecture series
Dates and Times: Various
Location: all lectures will be held in DWE, room 2529
A number of different lectures will be presented by Waterloo's chemical engineering department this spring. [more]
2008 Swing2Cure Golf Tournament
Date: July 9
Location: Rebel Creek Golf Club
Events for Waterloo Engineering alumni
Check out upcoming events taking place in Waterloo and throughout the world.
Spring/summer term software installation
Please let Daniel Delattre know what software needs to be installed in the engineering computing public computer labs for the next term.
Call for Excellence in Education Award nominations
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's Excellence in Education Award honours secondary and post-secondary educators who have encouraged students in the development of sustainable communities. This year's nomination deadline is May 31, 2008. CMHC will send a small gift to those who submit a nomination.