The Sedra Student Design Centre (SSDC) is a revolutionary hotbed of innovation, catalyzing collaboration between the University of Waterloo’s undergraduates and research teams. This world-class 20,000 sq ft facility is the largest of its kind in North America, funded via a $500K investment from the University of Waterloo, and sits just down the hall from the Engineering Student Machine Shop (ESMS).
The RoboHub, SSDC, and ESMS currently support eight different undergraduate student teams working in robotics and automation. Pick a logo or scroll down to find out more about each of the teams.
The UW Robotics Team focuses on the constantly evolving field of autonomous vehicles and the team frequently takes on multiple projects and competitions each year.
These competitions have included the NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge, the International Autonomous Robot Racing Challenge, the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition, the University Rover Challenge and running a mini-sumo robotics competition as an introductory project for junior team members.
The Waterloo Aerial Robotics Group (WARG) provides support to all student-run unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) projects at Waterloo. However, their primary mission is to design and build autonomous aircraft with surveillance capabilities for the Unmanned Systems Canada Competition.
The competition entails locating the position and/or volume of ground targets with accuracy, which means their aircraft must be capable of tasks such as flight stabilization, navigation and visual recognition.
The UWAT VEX U Robotics team designs, builds, and programs robots to compete in the international VEX U Robotics competition. Every season, a new challenge is announced in which over 300 teams spend the year constructing, optimizing and competing against each other. These robots are capable of precise object manipulation, visual object detection, autonomous motion and navigation, driver-assisted remote operation, and much more.
UWAT VEX U strives to push the boundaries of robotics by implementing various manufacturing techniques, advanced software control algorithms and sensor integrations combining all engineering disciplines. The team welcomes new students with and without prior competitive robotics experience!
The WATonomous student design team has spent the last few years transforming a stock Chevrolet Bolt Electric Vehicle into a fully autonomous vehicle. They are 1 of only 8 teams selected to compete in the SAE AutoDrive Challenge, culminating in a second-place finish overall in 2021. The team works closely with Professor William Melek, the Director of the RoboHub, and Professor Amir Khajepour and his team at the Mechatronic Vehicle Systems Lab.
Every year, the UW Sailbot team designs, builds, and races autonomous sailboats against other universities around the world in the International Robotic Sailing Regatta and the World Robotic Sailing Championship.
Formed in 2016, the UW Sailbot team competed for the first time in June 2017 at the International Robotic Sailing Regatta just one year after its formation. The team came 1st out of the novice teams and finished 6th overall.
UW REACT keeps the spirit of the FIRST Robotics Competition alive after high school by building fully autonomous FRC robots.
They design, manufacture, and program autonomous robots that compete against high-school FRC teams with teleoperated robots.
UW REACT also hosts the world's largest "Robot in 3 Days" event every year, where two teams of students build FRC robots in just 72 hours, completing the entire FRC challenge only 40 days before bag and tag.
The Waterloo Autonomous Racing (WATORACE) team designs path planning and control systems for autonomous racing vehicles. Currently, WATORACE is participating in the Indy Autonomous Challenge to compete with teams from 35 other universities on a Dallara IL-15 Indy Lights vehicle retrofitted with autonomous driving hardware.
In May 2021, WATORACE competed for $150,000 in prizes in a head-to-head simulation race, and they are hoping to compete in October 2021 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for $1.5M in prizes (subject to delays due to COVID-19).
The University of Waterloo Industry 4.0 design team is focused on promoting the unique Management Engineering program offered here at the University.
The team designs and organizes an "industry 4.0"-theme competition for high school students across the country to participate in and learn about these concepts in a fun and engaging manner.
The members of the team get the opportunity to plan and execute a competition from scratch and deal with all the various components that go into such a project, all the while learning more about the field. They also work with a custom scale factory that they model the competition after. This side of the team allows team members to get involved and develop the skills required to build and maintain such a factory.
For a complete directory of Waterloo Engineering student design teams, please click here.