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KRISYS: A Low-Cost, High-Impact Recruiting, and

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Embedded System Design

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.991.1 - 22.991.18



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Paper Authors

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Joseph A. Morgan Texas A&M University


Jay R. Porter Texas A&M University

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Jay R. Porter joined the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University in 1998 and is currently Professor and Program Director for the Electronics and Telecommunications Programs. He received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering (1987), the M.S. degree in physics (1989), and the Ph.D. in electrical engineering (1993) from Texas A&M University. His areas of interest in research and education include product development, analog/RF electronics, instrumentation, and entrepreneurship.

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Wei Zhan P.E. Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Wei Zhan is an Assistant Professor of Electronics Engineering Technology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Zhan earned his D.Sc. in Systems Science from Washington University in 1991. From 1991 to 1995, he worked at University of California, San Diego and Wayne State University. From 1995 to 2006, he worked in the automotive industry as a system engineer. In 2006, he joined the Electronics Engineering Technology faculty at Texas A&M. His research activities include control system theory and applications to industry, system engineering, robust design, modeling, simulation, quality control, and optimization.

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KRISYS: A Low-Cost, High-Impact Recruiting and Outreach ToolOver the past two years, the Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering Technologyprograms have been developing the KRISYS robot, a novel tool for use in recruiting high schoolstudents to engineering technology. To date, the KRISYS robot as been used to teach multipleworkshops including:  Women Exploring Engineering Workshops for female high school students interested in engineering  E12 Engineering Workshops for high school student populations traditionally underrepresented in engineering  Summer Transfer Engineering Workshops for students currently enrolled at two-year colleges  Youth Adventure Program Workshops for gifted and talented high school studentsKRISYS consists of an autonomous, line-following platform where teams of students are giventhe opportunity to design and implement the mechanical structure of their platform, populatetheir controller/motor driver printed circuit board, and develop algorithms in the C programminglanguage to allow their platform to follow an AC-energized wire using magnetic inductionsensors. The project was designed to be inherently multidisciplinary, tying together aspects ofelectronics, mechanical and computer engineering technology. In addition to designing and implementing their platforms, the teams also learn about variousengineering topics such as battery technology, LEDs, magnetic induction, and pulse widthmodulation motor control. Each workshop ends with a competition where students earn pointsfor innovative platform designs, the creation of a unique team website, ability to answerengineering questions, and ability to complete a drag race and road race.As an added benefit, the workshops are conducted by current engineering technology studentsunder the guidance of faculty. The students are responsible for teaching the basics about theKRISYS platform, working with the teams to facilitate the completion of their robots, andrunning the final competition. Involvement in the KRISYS workshops has been found to beextremely motivational and educational to our current students who now seek out opportunitiesto be involved.Multiple robotics competitions currently exist including BEST and FIRST. However, thesecompetitions are resource intensive and place a strong emphasis on the mechanical design of therobot as opposed to taking a true multidisciplinary approach that includes electronics andembedded programming. KRISYS provides faculty with an alternative recruiting tool which islow cost and can be successfully completed by smaller size teams (2 to 4 students) over a shortertime period. Sufficient information will be provided in this paper so that other schools canimplement their own recruitment and outreach capability using a low-cost, autonomous robot.Lessons learned and recommendations for further development will also be included.

Morgan, J. A., & Porter, J. R., & Zhan, W. (2011, June), KRISYS: A Low-Cost, High-Impact Recruiting, and Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18237

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