Tomorrow’s Engineers

OSG helps prepare the next generation engineering professionals through sponsoring university robotics and automotive projects

Marcela Rattin Bombini  |  OSG Sulamericana

Have you ever wondered who will be taking your place, working and managing the company 30 years down the road? OSG does. For decades, OSG has invested in the younger generation by offering scholarships and training programs to students who are pursuing a career in manufacturing.

In Brazil, OSG Sulamericana actively supports college programs by sponsoring and supplying cutting tools to students pursuing degrees in engineering. Since 2014, OSG Sulamericana has become a sponsor of 10 university teams that compete in robot combats and small formula car racing.

Robot Combat

Robot combat is a competition where custom-built robots, commonly referred to as battlebots, use a variety of weapons to destroy or disable the opponent within a designated battle arena. On average, there are six to 10 competitions per year. Each battlebot requires approximately three to six months to build. Using unique strategies, each team strives to win a fight adhering to the competition rules and within the allocated time limit. The combatant robots are usually remote-controlled vehicles. The complexity and cost of the machines vary based on the weight class. In general, the heavier the weight class, the more powerful the machine. The builder and operator must work in unison to craft the perfect battle machine. 

Omegabotz’s 1.36 kg Beetleweight combat robot is pictured with a group of tooling that OSG supplies to the team.

Formula Car Development Competition

Out of the 10 teams that OSG sponsors, five teams are concentrated in the automotive sector. These teams are participants of car development competitions, where students are challenged to design and build small electric formula racing cars over a one-year period time frame. The formula car development competition enables students to experience the entire automobile development process – from conceptualization to construction, encompassing all aspects of research, design, manufacturing, testing, developing, marketing, management and fundraising. Each team strives to produce the best functional prototype vehicle with superior quality in speed, fuel efficiency and safety. The cars are driven by the students themselves and the prototype vehicle is evaluated for its potential as a production item among Brazilian engineering education institutions.

The workshop of B’Energy at the Sorocaba Engineering School in Sorocaba, SP, Brazil.

Robot combats and formula car development competitions are not only fun and entertaining, but they can also provide a platform for students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real-world scenarios. Each competition tests the students’ knowledge in mechatronics and innovativeness. Working in teams, students are able to grow in their confidence, leadership, communication and problem-solving skills. These out-of-the-classroom activities serve as an important platform to promote interest in engineering and provide opportunities for students to explore future career paths. To better understand the competitions and the builders’ backstories, OSG visited three universities and interviewed a couple of teams that the company sponsors.

Robot Combat Team: ThundeRatz

University: University of São Paulo

Location: São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Number of Team Members: 75

Year of Foundation: 2001

Recent Major Accomplishment: 1st place in the 2018 Robot ReDrum 15kg class finals

Trophies earned by the ThundeRatz team over the years.

Team History: The ThundeRatz team was established in 2001 with the sole purpose of participating in what would become the first ever robot combat competition in Brazil. Only three other teams, also newly established in the same year, participated in the first competition. Since then, ThundeRatz has been participating annually in robot combat competitions and is one of the oldest robot combat teams in Brazil.

Matheus Ivanaga, mechanical engineering major from ThundeRatz uses an OSG end mill to machine the combatant robot’s weapon.

Most Frequently Used OSG Tools: Many OSG drills, end mills and taps are used by the ThundeRatz team to build their combatant robots. Round dies are also used at a lower frequency.  

The ThundeRatz project development room at the University of São Paulo.

Comments by Matheus Ivanaga, Head of ThundeRatz: ThundeRatz is extremely grateful for the partnership with OSG. It is very difficult for a team made up of only college students to obtain funds and function on its own. In the eyes of the ThundeRatz Team, companies who provide sponsorships are not only supporting the teams, but are also supporting the advancement of science and technology in the country. Moreover, the cutting tools provided by OSG allow ThundeRatz to manufacture parts with great precision, resistance to impact, and excellent surface finish. With OSG’s support, ThundeRatz will strive to continue to evolve as a team and to become great professionals with a broad knowledge in the field of robotics.

Robot Combat Team: TROIA

University: Federal University of Lavras

Location: Lavras, MG, Brazil

Number of Team Members: 32

Year of Foundation: 2012

Recent Major Accomplishment: 2018 National Champion of the Robot Hockey Category (3-time champion of the category)

Team History: TROIA – an acronym for Technology, Robotics, Optimization and Artificial Intelligence, came from the fusion of two nuclei studies from the Federal University of Lavras. In 2011, 10 students from the Control and Automation Engineering course at UFLA met with the objective of building a combat robot to participate in national competitions promoted by the company Robocore. Since then, TROIA has participated in more than 20 competitors and has earned more than 25 trophies, including two from world-wide competitions. Despite its short history, TROIA has set itself as a benchmark in the robot combat competition, currently occupying the eighth place in the national ranking with more than 400 competing teams. 

The workshop of TROIA at the Federal University of Lavras in Lavras, MG, Brazil.

Most Frequently Used OSG Tools: OSG end mills, drills and taps are used by TROIA. HSS end mills and HSS end mill with TiN coating are most frequently used.

Anna Caroliny, marketing leader of TROIA uses an OSG end mill to machine a part of the robot structure.

Comments by Anna Caroliny, Marketing Leader of TROIA: None of TROIA’s development would have been possible without the support of sponsors, society and the commitment of team members. OSG has a direct influence on the personal development of team members, who leave the college more prepared for the job market. The cutting tools supplied by OSG offer faster machining with an excellent surface finish. TROIA has a lot of pride, admiration and honor being supported by OSG. 

Robot Combat Team: Omegabotz

University: The Sorocaba Engineering School

Location: Sorocaba, SP, Brazil

Number of Team Members: 26

Year of Foundation: 2005

Recent Major Accomplishment: 2nd place in the 2018 Winter Challenge Hockey Pro (6.8 kg) category and 2nd place in the 2018 Winter Challenge ArtBot-Kinetic category

Team History: Omegabotz began its activities in 2005 with students of the electrical engineering course. Members were inspired by the Winter Challenge event that had emerged the same year, and began to develop on their own a 55 kg combat robot named Steppe. Omegabotz is among the best robotics teams in Brazil with a specialty in the category of hockey robots.

Omegabotz’s Hockey Robot built with OSG cutting tools.

Most Frequently Used OSG Tools: The most commonly used tools are end mills, which are used in 85 percent of Omegabotz’s projects. The end mills are mostly used for the development of shields, bases, walls – basically the entire structural part of the robot. Drills are also well used, but at a much lower usage rate when compared to milling cutters.

Gregory Nomura, captain of Omegabotz, uses an OSG drill to make holes in the structure of the Hockey Robot.

Comments by Gregory Nomura, Head of Omegabotz: The support and trust provided by our sponsors are fundamental for helping us excel in university project, extension projects and professional training. These activities are not only beneficial to our personal development, but also to the development of new technologies in our society. OSG’s products have always demonstrated long tool life. To this day, none of the tools have lost their sharpness yet. It really shows how committed OSG is to quality and customer satisfaction. At Omegabotz, we will strive to mirror OSG in terms of commitment, management and quality.

Formula Car Development Team: B’Energy

University: The Sorocaba Engineering School

Location: Sorocaba, SP, Brazil

Number of Team Members: 24

Year of Foundation: 2014

Recent Major Accomplishment: 2nd place in the 14th Formula SAE Brazil 2017 Competition

Team History: B´Energy was established in 2012, the same year that the electric category of Formula SAE was released in Brazil. The team has participated in every single SAE Brazil formula competitions since then.

Lucas Maximiliano from B’Energy uses an OSG hand tap to thread a hole for the construction of the team’s vehicle.

Most Frequently Used OSG Tools: End mills are used to build the suspension points for B’Energy’s B18 vehicle. Taps are used to open threads on the suspension parts and on battery components, which are designed and manufactured by the team. 

Comments by Lucas Andrade, Head of B’Energy: The partnership with OSG allows B’Energy to manufacture vehicles with great precision and quality. The competitions we participate in are highly valuable to our future professional development.

An OSG end mill is being used to machine a component for B’Energy’s vehicle.

OSG has grown substantially over the years, so has its sponsorship and scholarship programs. OSG will continue to encourage and support tomorrow’s engineers, who will design the next generation of robotics systems to further advance science and technology.