April. 20, 2015 – Whether it’s a four-legged robot that can trot, a motorized skateboard or a flying quadcopter that can automatically avoid collisions, University of Utah mechanical engineering students are developing jaw-dropping inventions that one day could help revolutionize the world.

Those are just a few of the senior projects that the engineering seniors will show off during the department’s annual Design Day 2015, which will be held Thursday, April 23, 2015, at the University of Utah A. Ray Olpin Student Union Ballroom, 200 S. Central Campus Drive, Salt Lake City. The free one-day event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to the public.

For the Senior Design Showcase, 30 projects on display were designed and built by mechanical engineering seniors who spent a year developing them. Other projects include an automated snow measuring system for forecasters, a drive system to control a rock crusher, a voice-activated braille device, the ultimate pocket-sized multi-tool and a rehabilitation device for hands that improves muscle strength through video gaming.

In addition to the senior projects on display, junior engineering students will be competing in a robot volleyball competition using machines they designed and constructed. Freshmen student teams will be challenging each other in a game of “Battleship” in which they use launchers to fire pingpong balls at enemy ships. The junior robot volleyball competition will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., and the freshman “Battleship” competition will be held from noon to 2 p.m.

“It’s always fun to see the seniors’ unique creations that are designed to solve a number of challenging design problems,” said Tim Ameel, chairman of the University of Utah’s mechanical engineering department. “The juniors always provide an entertaining robotics competition using machines designed and built with skills they’ve learned over the year. And the energy from the freshman event is palpable. It’s encouraging to me to see their enthusiasm for engineering!”

For a complete list of the senior projects that will be on display, go to