Since there seemed to be some talk of robotics on this board, and it's pretty related to some topics in ECE I figured I would talk about the Combotics branch of iRobotics.
Combotics is the shortened name for Combat Robotics. In Combots we (as the name suggests) fight 30 lb robots. The season is split into the design season which is first semester. And the build season second semester. In the first season, research is done to find what materials and components are best for the robot. This usually requires some research into yield strength and cost-analysis as the robot can only weight so much and cost so much. Along with finding the correct materials, CAD (Computer-Aided Designs) models are made for the robot to show how we will distribute the materials across the robot, and give an image for what our robot will look like.
In the second season, we actually construct the robot. This part of the season is done in the Engineering Student Project Lab (ESPL). The lab hosts many tools needed to actually build the robot. This includes mills,grindstones,welding machines,a computer lab, an assortment of drills,wrenches,screws and many other basic tools. The electronics are usually soldered and wired up to work. To be honest, there wasn't that much electronics stuff that had to be done. The challenge lies more in actually hooking everything up and getting the electronics to work.
After all this work is done, the robots are fought on the engineering open house. The event usually runs both days and have a fight about once every hour.
I apologize if I write poorly, it wasn't ever my cup of tea. If you have any interest in iRobotics, this is our website: http://irobotics.illinois.edu/