Electrical Engineering Students Win Regional Robotics Competition

Three Manhattan College senior electrical engineering students recently won the IEEE Micromouse Region 1 Competition, under the guidance of computer science professor.

Most New Yorkers wouldn’t bat an eye at the sight of a mouse — but one Manhattan College mouse is turning heads across the Northeast.

“Jayne,” the robotic mouse designed by electrical engineering seniors Joseph Argento, Alexander Stein and Abraham Asfaw recently won the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) Micromouse Region 1 Competition in Hartford, Conn., on March 10-11. The group, which beat four other teams including Syracuse University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, was advised by Peter Boothe, Ph.D., assistant professor of computer science at Manhattan College, and Nevzat Ozturk, Ph.D., associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Manhattan College, guided the students through the testing phase of the competition.

The annual competition invites teams of students to design, build and program small robots that autonomously navigate through a complex maze to the center. After an initial 10-minute test run, the robot then restarts and finds a more direct route to the center using its discovered knowledge.

While Manhattan College students participated in past IEEE competitions, this year’s team was the first to clinch the grand prize after its mouse discovered the maze center in under six minutes and completed the run a second time.

Watch Manhattan College's winning run:

“It was wonderful to see them do so well, as it was my first time too,” Boothe said. “They did a fantastic job, and we’re all really pleased.”

“I could see their dedication and the spirit of engineering,” added Soon Wan, the Micromouse competition chair. “Never give up, never stop engineering, constantly improving their Micromouse.”

After graduation, Argento, who built the Micromouse hardware, is pursuing a five-year engineering master’s degree at Manhattan College. Stein, who built the hardware/software interface, is heading to Texas to work for Intel and attend the University of Texas at Austin part-time to also pursue a master's degree. And Asfaw, who built the maze-solving program, is currently choosing from a number of Ivy League acceptances to study quantum computing and quantum optics in graduate school.

See pictures from the IEEE Micromouse Region 1 Competition: