University of Maryland robotics open house

My friend Erica Kane, from HacDC, recently went to an open house at the University of Maryland’s robotics department. This is a cool thing to do, if you live near a school that has such a department (or some other tech discipline you’re interested in). Call them up and see if/when they’re doing an open house. Erica wrote up a little report of her day on her family website.

The robot shown here is Tortuga 3, which has won a number of important competitions. It was not running today, however, because the on-board computer was showing a disturbing tendency to shut down unexpectedly. The thrusters still continue to function in that case, which can lead to an irreversible dive. (Sounds like a design flaw to me.) This allowed us to take a closer look at the fascinating machine. Building a land robot is pretty hard; making one that is waterproof too is very impressive.

Robotics Open House at the University of Maryland

Check out our massive Robotics Archive here on MAKE


Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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