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Whats so new and innovative about UG competitions?

  1. Mar 21, 2012 #1
    I dont know where to start exactly , but i will give it a shot anyways. I am a man of many interests including robotics, aerospace, defence research, psychology, physiology,warfare tactics,practical medical surgery, well enough of that!!
    So I was contemplating about what can describe me best..."Leonardo of 21st century"? =D
    or perhaps .."Jack of all trades and master of none" ? =\.. well that got me thinking about what I have done that is most innovative? and the answer was well , barely one or two things, if you consider being a finalist for int'l olympiad a success.

    Since I am a sophomore in Mechanical( that's one field which branches out to many of my interests) I decided to stand up and participate in some extra curricular activity like my seniors.
    I mean I do dream of a hot shot website filled with life time of megalomaniac projects, sports letters, and boasting of a planned MIT Phd. =)

    I did a round up of under grad competitions , the ones which would challenge my dormant grey matter.And to my surprise I couldn't find a single one.(from the ones which I saw)

    I mean take the BAJA for e.g. you have specific engines , specific dimensions, and that's it. I have seen so many designs having everything same, except the team name!! Even some similarity among the top wheels.

    The AUVSI seemed to be an awesome challenge, till I found out all you need is an rc control lotsa bl motors,high end fpv cam and some slick chow-wang programming(no offense).
    and there's plenty more where that came from.

    All in all I am left wondering, am I being delusional about these competitions because I am too lazy? or am I not searching for the right ones?

    I have heard of MIT robotics and stuff, but never heard of a really global challenge for undergrads. Boy, previewing this post does make me look like a sad little psychopath +D.

    But seriously , all my friends who are reading this post and have participated in competitions which truly test what i am presumably looking for..let me know.

    NOTE:-All observations stated above are personal and mean no damage physical,financial or legal to any persons or Organizations mentioned in the post.


    Whats up on the Higgs-Boson?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2012 #2
    Maybe you could view the lack of innovation as the competition? If these projects are so simple and common, then you should have no problem entering and defeating your competition in innovation.
  4. Mar 21, 2012 #3
    Hmm.. never thought of it that way. Thanks DragonPetter
  5. Mar 22, 2012 #4


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    You are being delusional. From what I understand baja is essentially a manufacturing competition, so you're attacking a strawman. Saying a competition only requires a lot of fancy coding is garbage - the algorithm design is highly non-trivial.

    it sounds like you are really complaining that the competitions you listed do not require design innovation from a mechanical aspect - a claim which I can't confirm or deny but send to be what you see getting at. One example of a competition that I know requires that is solar car racing, but it is really hard to get a team started on that
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