Mechanical engineering undergraduate researcher, Paul DiTomas.
The ME SPUR Program, modeled after CU Summer Program for Undergraduate Research, enabled undergraduate students to work with mechanical engineering faculty during summer 2020 on research that could be conducted remotely. As a participant, Paul DiTomas worked with Research Professor John Pellegrino to perform analysis for scenarios of the minimum energy requirement for robotic missions that will be used in a review article about portable power devices for next-gen robots. His summer research project was titled, Minimum Energy Requirement for Robotic Missions.
To improve the design of robots, energy and power requirements are two of the most crucial factors affecting the a robot's capabilities. For robots carrying their own power supply, the additional weight could cause a major increase in these requirements. Different batteries have different energy and power densities, so one may be more appropriate than another depending on the mission. This project analyzes these requirements for several example missions and selects batteries accordingly. For example, how much more energy does it require to inspect the entire bottom of Boulder Reservoir than it does to inspect a GE90 commercial jet engine?
DiTomas is a fourth-year undergraduate student studying mechanical engineering at CU Boulder. He loves learning about all aspects of the world and engineering, from design and manufacturing to energy conservation and physics. His video below provides a window into his research experience with ME SPUR.