Listen to this article
MassRobotics is seeking university teams for its Form and Function Challenge, which will award a grand prize of $10,000, as well as $1,000 prizes for second place, third place, and an Audience Choice award. The teams will show their creations at the Robotics Summit & Expo on May 1 and 2, 2024.
“This challenge calls for university teams or individuals associated with universities to create a robotics or automation project that delivers a compelling form factor specific to its tasks while accomplishing a useful function,” said MassRobotics in its announcement. “The challenge is open to participants from around the globe, and encourages cross-collaboration between state-of-the-art software and hardware providers including MassRobotics strategic partners.”
The stated mission of MassRobotics is “to help create and scale the next generation of successful global robotics and connected device companies by providing entrepreneurs and innovative robotics and automation startups with the workspace and resources they need to develop, prototype, test and commercialize their products and solutions.”
The Boston-based organization is a partner of WTWH Media, which produces The Robot Report and the Robotics Summit & Expo. MassRobotics’ other partners include AMD, Analog Devices, Danfoss, Festo, Lattice Semiconductor, Mitsubishi Electric, Novanta, Solidworks, and igus, which will be supplying components to the teams.
Form and Function team criteria
Teams participating in the challenge must be affiliated with a college or a university. They will retain any intellectual property rights and will gain valuable experience working with industry partners, said MassRobotics.
MassRobotics will announce the chosen teams on Feb. 15, followed by a mandatory info session on Feb. 21. Final submissions are due on April 30.
MassRobotics to announce winners at Robotics Summit
Presentations and judging will occur at the Robotics Summit on May 1. The winners will be announced on May 2.
Twelve teams participated in last year’s challenge. Last year’s first-place winner was the Tufts University Nano Lab, which had developed an ingestible pill to collect microbiome samples from the human gut.
The MIT WORMS team won second place for reconfigurable lunar robots, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Wheeled Biped team won third place for its Scout robot. Indiana University Bloomington won the Audience Choice Award for its Smart Gripper Tethered Unmanned Ground Vehicle System.