2021 Student Mechanism & Robot Design Competition (SMRDC)

Part of 2021 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences (IDETC)

45th Annual Mechanisms & Robotics Conference

August 17 – 20, 2021 ~ ONLINE


Winners' announcement of the SMRDC 2021

Graduate Group:

  • 1st place: An In-situ Collaborative Robot for Manufacturing in Confined Spaces, Andrew L. Orekhov, Garrison L. H. Johnston, Colette Abah, Vanderbilt University

  • 2nd place: A High Precision Mirror Symmetric XY Positioner, Jiaxiang Zhu, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

  • 3rd place: A Modular, Open-Source Continuum Manipulator for Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles, Justin Sitler, Stevens Institute of Technology

Undergraduate Group:

  • 1st place: Heavy Lift and Carry Exoskeleton, Hunter Andrieu, Nabra Asgedom, Sarah Bresnahan, Sanghyeon Chang, Bonham Ekleberry, Sara Elnahhas, Nathan Folta, Adam Hinson, John Kuempel, Brita Lyons, Jakob Lyons, Austin Petty, Ben Wardach, Zhao Yu, Virginia Tech

  • 2nd place: Design, Fabrication, and Verification of a Compliant Ankle Rehabilitation Robot (Flex-ARR), Adam Kim, University of Michigan

  • 3rd place: Coupled Finger Robot, Jacob Shapiro, University of Notre Dame




The ASME Student Mechanism and Robot Design Competition (SMRDC) is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to showcase their ability to design and build a mechanism or a robot.

For this competition, a mechanism is defined as:

"Any device that transmits a force or a motion to perform a mechanical task. It may consist of rigid or deformable bodies connected with kinematic or flexural joints. It may be constructed of any type of materials, including smart and other active materials. It may be actuated by means of any transduction principle and employ any form of energy input. The size of the device can range from the nano-scale to macro-scale."

A robot is defined as:

"An electro-mechanical system which, by its appearance or movements, conveys a sense that it has intent or agency of its own. A robot should be able to do some or all of the following: move around, operate a mechanical linkage, sense and manipulate their environment, and exhibit intelligent behavior, such as behavior that mimics humans or other animals. The size of a robot can range from the nano-scale to macro-scale."

The competition comprises two rounds:

Round 1 (Qualifying Round): Participants submit a Letter of Intent and a written report on their entry. All entries are evaluated by a panel of judges chosen from academe and industry. The top five entries in each category qualify for the next round.

Round 2 (Demo and Presentation): This round will be virtually held at the 2021 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences from August 17 – 20, 2021. Each team will be required to make:

  1. Oral presentation (5~7 minutes) describing their entry

  2. Interactive poster and discuss session.

Important Dates

  • Letter of Intent: April 15, 2021

  • Final Written Report: June 1, 2021

  • Notification of Finalists: July 1, 2021

  • Final Round: August 17-20, 2021 (at IDETC)


Dr. Yu She

Assistant Professor

School of Industrial Engineering

Purdue University

Email: yushe@purdue.edu

URL: https://sites.google.com/view/yu-she

Dr. Mark Plecnik

Assistant professor

Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

University of Notre Dame

Email: plecnikmark@nd.edu


Dr. Gaurav Singh

Postdoctoral Associate

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Yale University

Email: gaurav.singh@yale.edu,

URL: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=1pdhzl4AAAAJ&hl=en

Dr. Long Wang

Assistant professor

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Stevens Institute of Technology

Email: lwang4@stevens.edu

URL: https://faculty.stevens.edu/lwang4

Dr. Haiyang Li

Associate professor

School of Automotive Engineering

Dalian University of Technology

Email: haiyang-li@hotmail.com

URL: http://faculty.dlut.edu.cn/lihaiyang/en/index.htm