OIT offers students many projects that they can learn and communicate beyond laboratories and departments. Most projects are not classes but PBL (Project-Based Learning) that students independently take part in. These projects make students find topics and assist in developing their abilities to write their thesis.
- Solar Car Project
- Challenge of the OIT MONOLAB. Robot Project
- Human-Powered Aircraft Project
- Development of Wireless EV Charging System (Kawakami-mura Eco Project)
- Science À La Carte École Project
- Computer Design Project
- The IP PR Project
Solar Car Project
The solar car project TEAM REGALIA is one of the projects under the auspices of the Osaka Institute of Technology's Monozukuri Center. Started in June 2005, the purpose of the project is to teach practical aspects of engineering. In the project, faculty members support student-centered activities. The Project team currently comprises about 60 students from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Department of Electrical and Electronic Systems Engineering, the Department of Environmental Engineering and the Department of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineering. They are engaged in R&D activities that involve planning, design and building of solar-powered racing cars, competition activities that are for verifying the performance of the created vehicles, and community activities that include assisting in special environmental education in primary schools and helping with eco-events. After a preliminary research period of nearly two years since its inception, the team produced its Mark 1 solar racing car called Iris Type ONE in 2007. In August, the same year the vehicle was first entered in the FIA Alternative Energies Cup Solar Car Race Suzuka. In 2009, the Mark 2 vehicle, Iris Type-R, was completed. In 2011, the team got the third place of the Dream Class in the FIA Alternative Energies Cup Solar Car Race Suzuka 2011, and it became the champion of solar car category in the World Green Challenge Solar & FC Car Rally (Ogata Solar Sports Line, Akita Prefecture). In 2013, the team built the Mark 3 vehicle, Iris Asahi, made of carbon material, and it took the second place of the Olympia Class in the FIA Alternative Energies Cup Solar Car Race Suzuka 2013. In 2018, the team built the new vehicle, Ciero, it took the third place of the Olympia Class in the FIA Alternative Energies Cup Solar Car Race Suzuka 2018. In 2019, it took the third place of the World Green Challenge Solar & FC Car Rally.
Activities will continue, aiming to achieve greater development and take on world-class challenges.
Challenge of the OIT MONOLAB. Robot Project
The OIT MONOLAB. Robot Project is a group established in August 2008 comprising students who volunteer to join, wishing to enter robot competitions. Based in the Monodzukuri Center (MONOLAB.), which opened in May 2008, the project has attracted roughly 40 new members every year. The project's activity range has widened rapidly, from battling contests between small biped robots, which is a popular style of competition in the Kansai area, to national level competitions. In 2011, the project made its debut in the NHK University Robot Contest (NHK Robocon) 2011 and gained the quarter finals. In the 11th, 15th and 19th Rescue Robot Contests, it was awarded the Grand Prize for Rescue Engineering. In the NHK Robocon, the team reached the semi-final in 2012 and 2017. In 2016, the team reached the quarter final and received two awards. These successes are witness to the fact that many activities begun at the outset of the project are now bearing fruit. More specifically, the design and development environment of robots in the MONOLAB. and the instruction system have been improved, and the university's system for student support has been greatly enhanced. As a result, participating students now form their own teams, work under a strict schedule and budget management, research into each competition and undertake the concept generation, mechanical design, prototype construction and robot testing. In most workshops for the teaching of basic processing and software technologies, senior students now serve as instructors to teach younger students.
The successes of the Robot Project as well as the remarkable development of students seem to be never ending.
Human-Powered Aircraft Project
The goal of the project is to win the “Birdman Rally” which is held every year at Lake Biwa. From the year 2000, the OIT glider club, the predecessor of the project, participated in its glider category "Formula" and won in 2008. Then in 2009, the Human-Powered Aircraft Project started to design a new aircraft equipped with a human-powered propeller, and it completed one plane in 2012. The project passed the screening for the rally based on written documents, attracting judges with its aircraft's single-bladed propeller and its pilot who was a foreign student from Saudi Arabia. In the rally that year, the aircraft flew about 500m, ranking the 6th among 11 teams. In 2013, a member of the OIT cycling club was chosen for the pilot, but unfortunately, the imbalance between the power of the pilot and the strength of the wing caused the plane to crash into the lake. In 2014, the team appointed one of OIT alumni who had enough experience not only of glider piloting but also of cycle racing. The rally that year was canceled in the middle, after the project had finished flying, due to bad weather. The OIT team ranked second among the five that completed flying. In 2015, the team flew about 5Km, ranking the 3rd among 12 teams. In 2016, our airplane flew about only 500m, caused by a stall with gust. So ranking was 9th among 12 teams. A new aircraft with improved gearboxes was developed this year, however, the flight was canceled due to the effects of the typhoon. The project will continue to challenge the rally, further improving its highly efficient single-bladed propeller.
Development of Wireless EV Charging System (Kawakami-mura Eco Project)
Our team has engaged in the development of a wireless EV (electric vehicle) charging system within the activities of the Kawakami-mura (village) Eco Project. Electric vehicles are highly efficient and do not create air pollution. They offer promise as an effective solution to environmental problems. One of the keys to their successful diffusion is the provision of adequate battery charging infrastructure. In order to create a charging infrastructure by installing equipment in such locations as carports in private homes, the wireless battery charging system is a new technology attracting attention. The wireless charging system eliminates the use of power cables. Merely by parking the car in a designated spot, the battery can be charged, making it easy and safe for a broad range of users including the elderly. It is a promising system for wider diffusion. In our team's wireless charging system, power is converted into a high-frequency magnetic field that is conducted through space. Aiming at wide diffusion and positive environmental impact, we are developing a new system that can achieve this with the simplest components and at ultra-low cost. Operation test is now underway as a charging system for the Solar Commuter Car (small EV fitted with solar cell) which is being developed by the Automotive Engineering Laboratory. The developed wireless EV charger won the third prize and the best innovative design award in the International Competition of Future Energy Challenge held by Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in USA.
Science À La Carte École Project
The purpose of this project is to give school kids some opportunity of scientific experiments and fascinating science experience. The contents vary in type from Science Fair in OIT campus to Science Agora supported by JST held in Tokyo. During two years the project has provided:
- Preparation of aromatic colorful candles by flame reaction
- Strong and large soap bubbles
- Original bubble bath
- Color switchable flowers by pH response
Besides the team-based projects, as independent student research projects we aim to attend to Science Inter-college presentation competition supported by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (MEXT).
Computer Design Project
This project involves designing the processor, the core component of a computer. Students engage in design in teams of four to five members, competing in processor performance. The competition organizers (academic staff) specify only the instruction set. Each team independently designs a processor that can execute this. The design has to be completed in roughly two and a half months. Students start by producing a circuit diagram, then develop their design using hardware description language, conduct motion simulation and perform motion tests on FPGA board and finally arrive at a completed processor. On the last day of the competition, each team runs a program on their finished processor, competing on processor performance. The organizers provide the students only with their design environment. No advice or help is given. The students have to rely on their own abilities to design a fully functioning processor.
There is only one requisite for the project, which is to produce a processor that can execute the specified instruction set. The detail design is left for each team to devise. The detail design will greatly affect the processor performance. Therefore, each team devotes its effort and energy into perfecting a design that will produce better performance. The aim of the project is for students to learn design skills at a very high level as well as to develop team-working skills by undertaking design as a team.
The IP PR Project
The Intellectual Property Public Relation Project (IP PR Project) is student activities outside a curriculum under the supervision of IP faculties. The project supports mainly SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and sole proprietorships according to their requests in terms of IP strategies, as well as campus laboratories and traditional regional industries such as Osaka Ranma. Currently, the Project has provided patent research services, brand developing consultations with market research and comprehensive IP consultations in R&D processes. In 2019, the IP PR Project members joined the collaborative research project in the flexible robotics laboratory and promoted the design thinking development of a bedsore preventive device. As a result, the Project has received the following awards:
2015 The second prize at the national convention of Shakaijin Kisoryoku Ikusei Grand Pris (the business person’s competency contest) with their proposal of “the Ikumen Product Project (a project for the R&D of father’s goods).”
2016 The top two awards at the Chizai Katsuyo Idea Contest in Kansai area (Kansai regional competition of ideas for utilizing IPs).
2017 The first prize at the Kinki regional convention of Shakaijin Kisoryoku Ikusei Grand Pris (the business person’s competency contest) with their proposal of “Business Strategy on Rocket Engine for Preventing Space Debris.”
2017 The first prize at Ai-SPEC sponsored by the Kansai Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry.
This project aims at not only deepening student’s IP understandings and enhancing students’ career development but also contributing to the local society with academic knowledge.