Victor E. Bulldog III is a step closer to having his own stage after three individuals and two teams were announced as the five finalists for the “Victor E. Bulldog III Design Challenge.”
The competition, which began on Oct. 10, gave participants until Nov. 15 to turn in a three-page design narrative for a stage that could safely support and transport Fresno State’s live mascot, while also making him more accessible to those who have trouble kneeling low to the ground.
The individual finalists are: Sreekanth Rudraraju, Pasan Liyanagama Kankanamge and Bhavesh Jeevanlal.
The first team consists of Thomas Bayhi, Johnny Armanino, Garry Gong, Arnold Park and Rogelio Romero – all have taken part in robotics competitions in the past.
“We entered hoping we would make it far enough to be finalists,” Bayhi said. “We were pretty sure we had a good chance, but it felt good to get the news that we would be one of the Top 5.”
Bayhi said his title as “team lead” was more of a formality, stating that the title meant nothing to him or his teammates because the stage design was a team effort.
He also said that each member contributed equal time and lined up their contributions to match up with what they had learned in their respective fields of study.
Bayhi is a public relations major and said he chose to focus on the branding that would go on the stage. He left most of the engineering and robotics aspects to his teammates.
The second team is composed of Miguel Ramirez, as team leader, Jordan Vasquez, Christopher Smith and Aizia Thao.
Being an individual finalist, Rudraraju, a mechanical engineering graduate student, said he was really excited to be in the Top 5. What excited him even more was the opportunity to more thoroughly explain his design in front of the judges on Dec. 8 at the Fresno State Smittcamp Alumni House.
“I can really explain exactly how I thought of the design and how I really made the design,” Rudraraju said.
Rudraraju said he chose safety as the focal point of his stage and feels like this is what sets his design apart from the others.
“I feel like the safety of Victor E. Bulldog is most important,” he said. “In all design considerations, I made sure to take care of the extreme safety needed.”
Jeevanlal, another of the individual finalists and an engineering graduate student, chose to focus on the portability of the stage.
Jeevanlal said his stage can be folded, thus making it easier to transport when Victor is on the move in his vehicle.
He also credited being a graduate student for the knowledge to create his design. He said his background gave him an advantage over those still in their undergraduate studies.
“Being selected, that shows that my knowledge on the subjects and the core is good, that makes me proud enough,” Jeevanlal said.
Rudraraju, also a graduate student, agreed with Jeevanlal.
Following the design presentations on Dec. 8, the winner will be selected during finals week. That winner, or winning team, will be awarded $1,000. Each of the finalists have different plans for that money, if they were to win.
Rudraraju said he plans to give his money to charity, but he is unsure which one. Jeevanlal said he would use the money to pay for his graduation project.
Bayhi and his group are thinking along the festive side of things. Still unsure of where all of the money would go, Bayhi hopes the first few dollars will be spent on a celebratory pizza party.