Victory over the Fighting Irish

Two titans clashed on the gridiron, and for the second year in a row the Polar Bears from Ohio Northern beat the Fighting Irish from Notre Dame in a cutthroat game of robotic football.

ONU defeated Notre Dame by a score of 29-7 on April 19 in South Bend, Ind., with robots designed, built and operated by undergraduate engineering students. The game showcased the students’ accumulated knowledge of sophisticated engineering concepts in a fun, sporting-event atmosphere.

The robots included quarterbacks, centers, linemen, running backs, wide receivers and a kicker equipped with sensors that flashed different colors when the mechatronic players were hit, tackled or injured. These players competed in an eight-on-eight, modified-rules football game, which tested the skills of each robot specific to its position, against robots built by Notre Dame students.

In defeating Notre Dame, ONU captured the Brian Hederman Memorial Robotic Competition Award for the second consecutive season. The award is named after Hederman, a Notre Dame student who suffered an untimely death after his freshman year in 1995. A drawing he left behind inspired the trophy and the competition itself.