Deadline to Enter the ASME
Student Mechanism and
Robot Design Competition

The ASME Student Mechanism and Robot Design Competition is an excellent opportunity for both undergraduate and graduate students to showcase their abilities in designing mechanisms and robots. Past class, internship and co-op projects may be entered in the contest, provided they have not been presented at a similar forum. Students have until March 15 to show their interest in the competition by submitting a letter of intent.

This Student Mechanism and Robot Design Competition takes place in two rounds. The first is the qualifying round, in which participants submit a letter of intent and a written report on their entry. All entries are evaluated by a panel of judges chosen from industry and academia. In round two, a few selected teams from round one are invited to a final competition to present their design.

This year's competition will take place at the 2013 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences at the DoubleTree by Hilton Portland in Portland, Ore., from Aug, 4-7. Winners of the final competition will be recognized during the Mechanisms and Robotics Luncheon, where they will be presented with awards. In the past, these awards have included both cash and software prizes.

The competition is open to any graduate or undergraduate registered as a full-time student through the spring of 2013. Both individual and group projects are welcome. An individual may participate in several entries, as long as each submission is on a different subject. For this competition, a mechanism is defined as any device that transmits a force or a motion to perform a mechanical task, while a robot is characterized as an electro-mechanical system which, by its appearance or movements, conveys a sense that it has intent or agency of its own. For more information and contest rules, visit

In addition to the March 15 deadline for the letter of intent, other dates to keep in mind include:

  • April 19 — final written report due;
  • June 3 — notification to finalists; and
  • August 4-7 — final round in Portland, Ore.

In the past, the National Science Foundation has provided funding to support the travel costs of up to two participants from each design team that makes it to the finals. Check the competition website for updates on whether these travel funds will be available this year.

To find out more about the ASME Student Mechanism and Robot Design Competition, visit the website at