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Pass the Puck. Students find inspiration in Canada’s game

Posted: April 15, 2015 6:00 a.m.

They shoot! They score! Industrial Systems Engineering students pose in front of their puck passing machine (l to r) Jacquelynn Jones, Lee Miller and Dustin Unger.
They shoot! They score! Industrial Systems Engineering students pose in front of their puck passing machine (l to r) Jacquelynn Jones, Lee Miller and Dustin Unger. External Relations.

As the hockey playoff season heats up, here’s a cool idea from some University of Regina students: An automated hockey puck passing system.

“People feel this is a cool concept and they want to see it in action. They like the idea,” says Lee Miller who along with Jacquelynn Jones and Dustin Unger are fourth-year Industrial System Engineering students and fans of hockey.

“If you’re training at a rink and you don’t have a buddy to pass you the puck, you can pull out this device and practice those one-timers,” explains Miller.

Here are some of the machine’s technical details: it weighs about 18 kilograms (40.65 pounds) and is 55 centimetres (22 inches) long.

The machine uses a DC motor that has a tiny inflatable wheel attached to the motor shaft. The pucks are stacked in a handy removable hopper and are fired in rapid succession once the motor is activated.

The machine fires pucks at about 50 kilometres per hour or faster and set at intervals of five seconds.
Student Lee Miller shows off the machine
here.

“We wanted to make a machine that would help hockey players train. You simply load the pucks in the machine and it passes them out,” says Unger.

The puck machine was one of dozens of projects unveiled recently at the U of R’s Engineering Department’s Project Day. Other projects on display included a wheelchair cup holder and an anchor that keeps roof inspectors safe on the job.

The puck machine was also shown off to the public that day.

“We’re really happy with it. There was a big learning curve designing this. We couldn’t ask for a better machine. It works very well so yes we are happy with it,” says Jones.

“The biggest challenge is that we don’t have a welding background, so we had to overcome that. The electronics system is quite complex. Those were also hurdles we had to overcome,” says Unger.

Another project hurdle? A friendly hockey rivalry between the students.

Dustin Unger cheers for the surging Calgary Flames while Lee Miller is a fan of the Edmonton Oilers, a team that finished near the bottom of the National Hockey League standings this season.

Says Unger “looks like the Oilers could use a machine like this.”

Whether you love hockey or not we encourage you to check out the rewarding courses and research opportunities offered by the U of R’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

Student success is one of the pillars of the U of R’s strategic plan. For more information on our plan please visit here.