NATICK, MA--A team of engineering students from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) has won Cognex Corp.'s first collegiate machine vision application contest.

The competition is part of the company's Cognex on Campus grant program, which provides students at top engineering schools the opportunity to learn about machine vision with Cognex equipment. Schools participating in the program were challenged to create unique "factory-ready" automation applications using the company's In-Sight machine vision sensor.

Rensselaer students Kyle Brookes, Dave Johnson and Todd Murphy won the contest for their application, which uses machine vision to guide the attachment of sprinkler heads onto sprinklers. For their efforts, each student received $500 in Cognex stock and offers to intern at the company over the summer. In addition, Rensselaer was given an additional $10,000 in Cognex machine vision equipment for its engineering program.

Teams from Oregon State University (OSU, Corvallis, OR) and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT, Rochester, NY) were runners up. Eddie Blackwell and Mey Saecho of OSU designed an application that automatically sorted highly symmetrical parts. Christie Bielmeier of RIT designed a vision-guided robot capable of pouring mixed drinks.