Student-built ‘Governator’ set to launch T-shirts at Austin Peay-Queens game
Meet the “Governator” – a student-built, remote-controlled robot that can launch T-shirts more than 200 feet.
You’ll get a chance to see the robot in action when the Governors host Queens at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, at the Winfield Dunn Center. And the robot will be a perfect added touch to the day – College of STEM Day – which will celebrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics students, faculty and staff.
Four Austin Peay State University students – Quinten Phillips, Aaron Zacheis, Kyle Somers and Hunter Reese – built the machine in 2019 for their mechatronics capstone project. All are studying engineering technology.
“We wanted to create something that was going to be one of a kind and never had been done before,” Reese said. “We wanted something that would challenge both ourselves and the group as a whole.”
Many capstone projects end up on display at the Army Education Center at Fort Campbell, Somers said. “We wanted our project to be used and not just collect dust.”
Zacheis added: “Our non-cookie-cutter project really breaks the mold for capstone projects within the Engineering Technology Department. We’re all extremely proud of the Governator and what part it will play in many school functions to come.”
Phillips was onboard too.
“When Aaron and Hunter were telling me about their idea for a robot with an air cannon, I felt I had to be a part of it,” he said.
A robot with a cannon arm
The Governator can maneuver into various positions and fire T-shirts, and it’s almost all done remotely.
“The operator can manipulate each of the functions of the robot via buttons and a toggle stick on the remote controller,” Reese said. “The only manual operation required during the operation of the Governator is the reloading of the T-shirts into the cannon barrel.”
The robot is a medium-duty, multi-use mobile platform outfitted with a cannon. The robot can travel 4-7 mph, and its compressor can power the air cannon up to 110 pounds per square inch, Somers said. The cannon can launch T-shirts more than 200 feet.
“It can also remotely adjust firing angle and then fire,” Phillips said.
‘Others to help you along the way’
“The capstone project allows students to get a taste of what engineering work will be like,” Somers said. “Engineers in the manufacturing world spend much of their time creating solutions or improvements to customer wishes.”
Each group member took on specific roles to build the robot. Reese’s role, for example, was electrical engineer and Phillips was the project lead.
“One of the many challenges we faced was figuring out how to go from an idea to a physical functioning robot within a timeline, budget and promise to deliver,” Reese said. “The project taught me that in a real-world scenario, you are not required to have all the answers and that you will have others to help you along the way.”
Austin Peay’s engineering technology program gave the students a solid base of knowledge.
“My schoolwork was extremely helpful to this project,” Phillips said. “From AutoCAD to the frame model to Creo (3D CAD software) for the cannon representation. This project allowed me to prototype, test, adjust and repeat from thought to live.”
News FeedView All News
Patrick Richardson, a health and human performance major with a concentration in public health, spent the last semester of his junior year working with professors from three departments to survey and collect soil samples at Clarksville's Riverview Cemetery. From there, the materials were sent to an environmental lab to test for formaldehyde leakage and heavy metals - which are associated with historic burial practices.Read More
Mackenzie Carr, a senior in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Austin Peay, has won the university's prestigious Drane Award for character, scholarship, leadership and service to the university. Carr has served in various leadership positions and dedicated her time to serving others through volunteering. She has also won several other awards, including the Nell Rayburn High Impact Practice Award and the Student Government Association's Madame Governor Award.Read More
Middle College students at Austin Peay State University are participating in the Partners Engaged with Emerging Researchers (PEER) program to gain real research experience. The program pairs juniors and seniors with professors in the College of STEM to work on research projects. The goal of the program is to provide students with a clearer idea of what they want to pursue in college and their careers, while giving them a head start on their college careers. The professors benefit from working with dedicated and responsible high school students who can help them out in their labs.Read More