IPRO 353

Electrified Transportation for Land and Space: From Formula Race Cars to Space Exploration Robots (A Technological Innovation IPRO Project)

Instructor: Dr. Mahesh Krishnamurthy

Location: Idea Shop

Course Purpose:

Automotive companies such as Tesla and Faraday Future, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), autonomous vehicles are some of the areas that have made giant strides in recent years. Electrification has allowed fast and powerful operation in addition to substantial benefits in efficiency. However, this area is still in development stage and has been very receptive to advanced design and innovation. This has created a major demand for engineers with practical, hands-on experience in system design and hardware development, leadership and teamwork.

In this IPRO, students will work in interdisciplinary teams towards two international student competitions- the Formula electric SAE racecar competition and the NASA Robotic Mining Competition. Students will get an opportunity to design and implement the two vehicles and compete in the international competition to be held in New Hampshire and Kennedy Space Center (Florida), respectively.

The first team will work on the design and implementation of a Formula SAE electric racecar towards the international Formula Hybrid competition held in New Hampshire in May 2017. From an industry standpoint, petroleum prices continue to rise every year and consumers are hard pressed to find alternatives to their gasoline-hungry vehicles. Through this project, students will explore and develop the same cutting-edge automotive technology that will be making its way into many markets in the next few years. The vehicle will be judged on design innovation, endurance and overall system engineering.

More information about the Formula SAE Racecar competition

The second team will work on a NASA Robotic Mining Competition towards the international competition held at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in May 2017. In this competition, students will design and build a mining robot that can traverse a simulated Martian terrain. The robot must excavate Martian soil the basaltic regolith simulant and move the excavated mass into the collector bin to simulate an off-world resource-mining mission. The robot will be judged on completion of task, design innovation, size and weight. It must consider design and operation factors including dust tolerance, communications, energy management, and autonomous operation.

More information about NASA Robotics Mining Competition

In addition to the Idea shop, the team will have access to the research capabilities of the Electric Drives and Energy Conversion (http://drives.ece.iit.edu) lab in the department of electrical and computer engineering and the SAE garage (http://drives.ece.iit.edu/fsae-facility.html). The team will also develop relationships with technical sponsors and commercial partners, which will allow access to necessary software, hardware, material and services for the implementation.