Students race robots in “Ben-Hur chariot race” re-enactment

In Engineering Education, News

On Friday, they pitted the robots against each other in a race “recreating the chariot race from the movie ‘Ben-Hur,’ except with autonomously running LEGO chariots,” said Dan Dickrell, a UF department of mechanical and aerospace engineering faculty member.

The students took the class as part of two summer programs, the Engineering Freshman Transition Program and STEP-UP, aimed at introducing engineering to students who have indicated an interest in the field. The Lego Mindstorms NXT kits played the role of textbooks for the class.

“The summer class teaches both the basics of engineering design principles and computer programming to the incoming freshman, enabling the students to visualize and complete autonomous vehicles to compete in the final race,” Dickrell said.