Oswego Resident Kyle Backer, Teammates Win Engineering Design Competition

ROCHESTER, NY – Kyle Backer, a resident of Oswego, was part of the winning collegiate design team that took first place in the 2012 RIT Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineering student design contest. Backer is a fifth-year electrical engineering student in Rochester Institute of Technology’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

The seven-member student team designed and built a 31-inch autonomous humanoid robot platform nicknamed “TigerBot” for their senior design project. The humanoid is scaled to a human model and has the ability to mimic human movement and behavior. The innovative robot went beyond the requirements for the senior design project with autonomous and wireless control, object avoidance, environmental interaction, camera vision, voice control and has the ability to balance.

Backer’s team competed against other universities including Syracuse University, Cooper Union, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, Stony Brook University and New York Institute of Technology. The design competition took place at on May 5 during the university’s annual Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival. Team members include Jonathan Cormier of North Hero, Vt.; Matthew DeCapua of Essex Junction, Vt.; Jeremy Jensen of Penn Yan, N.Y.; Michael Thomas of North Easton, Mass.; and Eric Walkama of Newington, Conn.

Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized for academic leadership in computing, engineering, imaging technology, sustainability, and fine and applied arts, in addition to unparalleled support services for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. RIT enrolls 17,000 full- and part-time students in more than 200 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative-education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.