Robotics Education & Competition Foundation
Online Challenges

Autodesk Sustainable Design Challenge

The Autodesk Sustainable Design Challenge is an online, skill-based challenge being run by the Robotics Education and Competition Foundation (RECF).

Sustainability is about using engineering and science to reduce human environmental impact. This can mean producing renewable energy, using less energy, replacing high-environmental-impact materials with low-impact alternatives, recycling, reusing, and designing upgradeable products that can meet future needs without having to be replaced.

Learn more about sustainability, and specifically sustainable design, at the Autodesk Sustainability Workshop website at



energy sustaining garbage maintenance


Thi robot is meant to be able to be energy sustainably designed in the way its structure is built and the type of materials used and the task it performs
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Single Axis, Rotating Solar Panel Mount


As our entry to the Autodesk sustainability design challenge, we decided to CAD a solar panel mount that rotates about an axis to keep the solar panel at a more direct angle with the suns rays. This allows the panel to collect more energy as the day progresses, making the panel (or an array of panels) more efficient. The mount uses special gearing and VEX motors to rotate the panel in one axis direction. The base of the panel allows it to be connected to a larger array of these panels. The ultimate goal of the mount is to increase the efficiency of solar power plants that only have stationary...
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Tree-Planting Robot


Basically, this robot is designed do dig small holes along a desired path which is programmable by the user. It has an accelerometer to prevent tipping, and optical quad encoders to more accurately measure distance. What it does, is it digs a certain amount of holes at the desired distance from eachother, and when complete, returns to its starting position and waits four you to put small trees, seeds, or whatever you want to plant in the hole, then it goes back along the path filling the holes with dirt and patting them down.
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Solar Panel Mounting: Pushing the Boundaries of...


The VEX sustainable design challenge presented the robotics club at our school with a challenging, and fun way to apply our skills in CAD, physics, math, and engineering. The first step in the design process required taking the challenge as a request for proposal (RFP). By doing so we can derive a requirements document for the robot based on the needs of the design challenge.
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Solar Tracker


Solar Tracker is a simple device to help keep a garden light solar panel facing the sun. The Problem: At home we have some solar lights by our spa pool, we found that when the solar panel doesnt recieve enough light the lights dont turn on at night. we could solve this problem by going outside every hour and making the solar panel face the sun. The Solution: as we are not home all day everyday going out every hour to turn the panel was not a suitable option, instead we decided to use vex to automate the system, using a turntable bearing kit, a motor and a couple of sensors
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Trash can collector


The main idea of the robot was to collect the trash cans in an outdoor area like a park or county fair. this is a better alternetive than a gas pickup truck or people walking around.
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Multifunctional Robot


A robot that can be used to complete tasks. Mechanism is replaceable.
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Garbage Clean-Up System


My robot picks up litter that causes many problems for the environment. It does this by using its claw to pick up trash around it, thus cleaning up the area. By doing this, it reduces human's impact on the planet.
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Weed Terminator


Dads will love our robot. It applies herbicides for precision targeted treatment of weeds in lawn. An ultrasonic range finder measures the distance from target weed and adjusts the boom height for chemical spray. Shields are mounted around the nozzle to form a spray chamber to prevent spray drift caused by damaging wind. To improve energy efficiency, a linear slide is installed to move the spray module laterally to widen the spray coverage and therefore reduces the robot's travel distance. For durability, a stationary rollover simulation is run on Autodesk ForceEffect. The results led to...
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The Power Stairs


The Power Stairs are made to generate power as people walk over them in highly trafficked areas.
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