The UCF Robotics Club won seventh place out of 43 teams that competed in the 2010 IEEE Southeastern Conference Hardware Competition March 18-21 in Charlotte, NC.

Themed “Energizing Our Future,” the event brought together student engineers from the region to race solar-powered robots in a competition of smarts and ingenuity.

Teams had only three minutes to charge their robots from indoor “sun” lights, and have them complete as many laps as possible around an obstacle-laden track. The robots were not allowed to have any form of stored energy prior to the start of the competition.

To get its robot, “Knight-Brite,” charged up quickly, the UCF team used a scissor-lift design to position the robot as close to the light source as possible.

“It took about two minutes to charge,” said team captain Michael Scherer, “leaving one minute to race.” Scherer added that while all teams put in a good effort, many of the robots at the competition didn’t move.

Team members included Chris Davis, Alex Demos, James Humphries, Steven Kobosko, Jonathan Mohlenhoff, Chris Nergard, Cassondra Puklavage and Matt Znoj.

The UCF Robotics Club participated in cooperation with the IEEE UCF Student Chapter.