2020 ASME Human-Powered Vehicle Competition University of Virginia Orange Team; Robots and Society: Robots Influence on Manufacturing

Baber, Todd, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Seabrook, Bryn, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Smith, Natasha, EN-Mech/Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia

The HPVC is a competition that tasks teams from around the world to design and build a vehicle that can be powered by a person. The mission statement by ASME is to encourage engineering students to consider the social, environmental and economic benefits of the vehicles they design. The first set of criteria given to the team is a set of safety rules that apply to all phases of the design from structural forces, deflections, safety harnesses, and braking. However, the team set forth other goals for design objectives such as gearing ratios, turning radius, weight, and steering. The design choices are made with respect to the manufacturability and timeline of the project. The available machinery was a waterjet, TIG welder, CNC, mill, lathe, grinders, and other handheld tools over a semester of construction. The final design is a tadpole recumbent bicycle with Ackermann steering configuration made of 4140 steel. Finally, the design and manufacturing were the objectives of the challenge in order to build a unique vehicle.
The unique nature of special builds is not a large part of the economy any more with factories producing large scale identical products. In 2013 Oxford researchers Carl Frey and Michael Osbourne theorized that forty seven percent of jobs in the United States are at risk of computerization (Frase, 2016. The IEEE defines a robot as a machine that is able to interpret the environment and make calculations. Therefore, the technical advancement now makes robots a viable method of labor that can compete with humans. The research proposal is the study of integration of robots into manufacturing and the corresponding impact on society. To study this effect of robots on the society and the economic impacts the research paper looks at the automotive industry. The automotive industry has a long history of employment history and values displayed in America. The industry was also an early adopter of robots in the late 1970’s, which allows historical case study of robots impact on the community. In addition, using discourse analysis to get society’s perception of robots using newspaper articles. Furthermore, using disruptive technology regulations with code of ethics for roboticists to understand the impacts that robots have on society. Paradigms shift theory is used to study the impact of robots as models change as is inherent in disruptive technologies. Finally, the expected result is to learn the impacts that robots will have on society and economy. In addition, to use expert methods to implement ways to adapt to the changing labor climate. The significance to the research community is to understand a modern problem of labor in America, and to possibly limit negative outcomes.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
paradigm shift, manufacturing, robots

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Technical Advisor: Natasha Smith
STS Advisor: Bryn Seabrook
Technical Team Members: Sandesh Banskota, Ethan Blundin, Ross Bonnin, Chloe Chang, Thomas DeAngelis, Michael Jeong, Yasmin Khanan, Jean-Luc Lapierre, Jesse Patterson, Brad Mahaffey, Coke Mathews, Henry Qi, Kristin Schmidt

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