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University of Toronto Robotics Association (UTRA)
UTRA was founded in 2002 as a student organization within the University of Toronto. In its infancy, it competed strictly in combat robotics competitions. Since 2006, UTRA has begun rapidly expanding the scope of its activities to include Sumo Robots, Robot Fire Fighting, Robot Soccer, Autonomous Robot Racing, 3D Printers, and the UT-FIRST mentorship program. It currently has over 150 members and it receives funding and support from various engineering faculties within the university, as well as student organizations, university alumni, and corporate sponsors.
Starting in 2007, UTRA began traveling to California to compete in RoboGames. RoboGames is the largest robotics competition in North America, with a large number of international competitors. Because of its size, RoboGames provided UTRA with an annual event in which all of its different robots could compete under one roof. UTRA has been the most successful with its combat robots, taking bronze two years in a row followed by gold medal wins in 2010 and this year for the 120-lbs weight class category.
UTRA's mission is to inspire science and technology leaders, by engaging them in the design and construction of advancing robotic technology, that inspire innovation, and foster the skills of science and engineering, as well as well-rounded life capabilities of creativity, communication, and teamwork. It is one of the few student teams at the university that requires engineering students of various skills to work cohesively to accomplish a single project. Students have a chance to apply the skills that they have learned in class.
Senior members mentor junior students, teaching them skills not taught to them yet, or those they have learned in industry. UTRA leads the UT-FIRST program which allows our members to volunteer their time to help teach robotics at various high schools around the GTA.
Engineering Annex (EA-106)
11 King's College Road
Toronto, ON, M5S 1A4
(Thanks to Mahdi Olfat for the drawing.)