Skip to content
Provided by ASME Logo The American Society of Mechanical Engineers

2021 Student Mechanism & Robot Design Competition (SMRDC)


The ASME Student Mechanism and Robot Design Competition (SMRDC) is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to showcase their ability to design and build a mechanism or a robot.

For this competition, a mechanism is defined as:
"Any device that transmits a force or a motion to perform a mechanical task. It may consist of rigid or deformable bodies connected with kinematic or flexural joints. It may be constructed of any type of materials, including smart and other active materials. It may be actuated by means of any transduction principle and employ any form of energy input. The size of the device can range from the nano-scale to macro-scale."

A robot is defined as:
"An electro-mechanical system which, by its appearance or movements, conveys a sense that it has intent or agency of its own. A robot should be able to do some or all of the following: move around, operate a mechanical linkage, sense and manipulate their environment, and exhibit intelligent behavior, such as behavior that mimics humans or other animals. The size of a robot can range from the nano-scale to macro-scale."

The competition comprises two rounds:

Round 1 (Qualifying Round): Participants submit a Letter of Intent and a written report on their entry. All entries are evaluated by a panel of judges chosen from academe and industry. The top five entries in each category qualify for the next round.

Round 2 (Demo and Presentation): This round will be virtually held at the 2021 ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences from August 17 – 20, 2021. Each team will be required to make:

  1. Oral presentation (5~7 minutes) describing their entry
  2. Interactive poster and discuss session

Important Dates

Letter of Intent
April 15, 2021

Final Written Report
June 1, 2021

Notification of Finalists
July 1, 2021

Final Round
August 17–20, 2021 (at IDETC)


View Participation Instructions

Letter of Intent

The Letter of Intent should include:

  • Project title
  • Name(s) of the participant(s)
  • One contacting postal address
  • One e–mail address
  • University affiliation(s)
  • Category – Undergraduate or Graduate
  • 100–200 word description of the project
  • Faculty sponsor’s signed letter stating the eligibility of the student(s) to participate