The Robotics Club at Bates Technical College rebooted during summer quarter. Headed by the students in the Electronic Equipment Service Technician program, the club meets every Thursday at 11 a.m., when classes are in session, in Room E102 at the Downtown Campus. The faculty advisor is EEST instructor Franklin Hsu, and the Robotics Club president is student James Trunk.

In contrast to the more simple and fun robots that many high school robotics clubs build, the college’s Robotics Club builds things that are both useful and important.

The focus this year is on designing and building a practical search and rescue ‘bot that can be used in urban environments. Not only is this a difficult project for any technician, it is also highly relevant, given the search and rescue challenges that sometimes face emergency responders today.

According to Trunk, the MURV, or Modular Urban Rescue Vehicle, is a two-part robot/drone vehicle designed to help first responders during emergencies in an urban environment. The basic concept behind the MURV is to give first responders both an “eye in the sky” and “boots on the ground” in settings too risky for humans.

The flying drone portion is designed to act independently from the mother robot. The small drone will be in the air, providing aerial images for the operators, and the large mother robot will navigate city streets, with the ability to observe objects or people at ground-level—and even underneath parked vehicles, building or partially collapsed structures.

All in all, the MURV is intended to provide a complete ground and aerial view of the emergency area.

This project shows just how relevant the work at Bates Technical College is—even the student clubs are focused on creating practical innovations.

To learn more about Associated Student Government clubs, or the Robotics Club, go to

Submitted by Greg Kares, Electronic Equipment Service Technician student