TSU Tiger Comes to Life Thanks to Robotics
By Leona Dunn
Meter Staff Writer
Tennessee State University showcased the new advancements made to the Tennessee State Tiger at the John A. Merritt Classic, the first football game of the year. It is a robotic tiger that the engineering department has been working on for both a fun project and a recruiting tool.
“Right now the College of Engineering and Computer Science department are working on this Robotic Tiger to bring to showcases and competitions. The dean is working on moving the head, tail, and potentially walking,” Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Dr. Amir Shirkhodaie said, “They are trying to make an iconic figure to get the students excited about the things going on in our mechanical engineering department.”
Two students were given the equipment, and design requirements to create this tiger, after Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the engineering department requested the project be done.
“Under the direction of Dr. Erdem Erdemir, assistant professor of Computer Science, two students designed the exoskeleton for the structure of the life-sized tiger and the mechanical components to provide pitch and yaw motion of the tiger head, and for actual motion of the tiger tail,” Dr. Hargove said, “The students designed the robotic metal components inside the tiger head to provide the motions, including blinking LED lights for the eyes of the tiger. The tiger tail included a swivel device to provide motion.”
The tiger was placed on a wooden platform to easily transport it around. The tiger consisted of a sound system to also let the tiger make noise, and roar just like a tiger would.
“It does not take a genius to become an engineer. It simply requires a strong desire to learn, interests in making or building things, and like working in teams,” Dr. Hargrove said.