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
- Smartphone Application Design 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.
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 and 15th Rescue Robot Contest, 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 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 flied 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 at the middle, after the project had finished flying, due to a bad weather. The OIT team ranked second among the five that completed flying. In 2015, the team flied about 5Km, ranking the 3rd among 12 teams. In 2016, our airplane flied about only 500m, caused by stall with gust. So ranking was 9th among 12 teams. 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).
Smartphone Application Design Project
Some twenty students divide into several teams to develop an Android smartphone app. They create apps and make presentations, discovering and experiencing the fun of creating a finished product using their own ideas freely and doing their own technical research. The students spend more than four months on the project. From planning through development and implementation, they proceed by trial and error to achieve their result. Seven apps were produced last year, one of which was entered in an external competition. Many were of high standard, including a support app designed to make a portal site more user friendly and a game app using 3D graphics. The project focuses on the scheduling of creating software from scratch, as would a software developing company in real life. Through their progress report session and final presentation, students can hone their presentation skills. As team leader or key member, many students enhance their practical skills, resulting in huge boosts to their learning. In this regard, the project is a vital part of career training.
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 an extracurricular activity promoted by the student members under the supervision of IP faculties. The project teams have been engaged in activities to support SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and large-scale companies in terms of IP strategies, as well as to enhance regional brand images such as Osaka Ranma. As a result, they have so far won the following awards:
2015 The second prize at the national convention of Shakaijin Kisoryoku Grand Pris (the working people’s basic competency contest) with their proposal of “Ikemen Shohin Kaihatsu Project (A Project for Developing Goods for Cool-looking Men).”
2016 The top two awards at the Chizai Katsuyo Idea Contest Kansai Taikai (Kansai regional competition of ideas for utilizing IPs).
2017 The first prize at Ai-SPEC sponsored by the Kansai Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry.
This continued activity not only enhances the students’ career development and human growth but also contributes greatly to revitalizing local communities as well as advancing the name recognition of the university.