The Mud Season Challenge
UMaine Mechanical Engineering Capstone

April 30, 2016 UMaine University Forest
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  Autonomous vehicles that work and monitor the Maine woods present completely different  financial and practical constraints than those found in a large scale defense agency project in the desert. April in Maine provides some of the most uncertain and changeable terrain that a vehicle would encounter.  This competition focusses on systems designed for back country monitoring and  inspection of forests, agriculture operations and border integrity which must meet theunique financial and operational constraints encountered during a New England mud season.  

DARPA had a "Grand Challenge", 

but NOTHING beats 

MUD Season in New England!

2016 photos and results!


Size: smaller than 3 ft. x 3 ft x 6 ft

Weight: less than 200 lbs

Cost: less than $140,000 for 100 units

Power: 2 or 4 stroke spec. engine

Intelligence: open source hardware


The development of the University of Maine Mechanical Engineering Capstone is the results of more than two decades of efforts.  Starting with the efforts of a team of faculty at Colorado State University, a model for student quality and accountability was developed.  Based on this foundation the efforts began at the University of Maine in 2000.  The principles underlying this vision are at: UMaine Capstone Mission Statement.  Like any project with a sustainable competitive advantage the UMaine capstone emphasizes world class efforts with a clear sense of place.  

Michael "Mick" Peterson, Ph.D.