A unique addition for University of South Florida football games is coming to Raymond James Stadium, as a motorized bull will debut on Saturday.
The nickname for South Florida teams is the Bulls, so this addition will be an appropriate touch. Built by university engineering students, the USF motorized bull will make its debut in a fan-experience area at Raymond James Stadium’s south plaza prior to Saturday’s opening game. It is operated through a remote control, and comes with a variety of features–including battery-powered motors on its back wheels, LED lights to create red eyes, and a machine to generate smoke through the nostrils.
This unique gameday touch has been in the works over the last several months, according to a feature from the Tampa Bay Times:
[USF booster Jeff] Fishman purchased the life-sized bull from a Texas-based art gallery last November, and the school’s College of Engineering began the process of bringing it to life as a Spring Capstone project in early January. Stephen Sundarrao, associate director of the College of Engineering, was selected to essentially oversee it.
A 12-volt battery (think car battery) runs the smoke machine and LEDs. A 36-volt lithium battery empowers the two rear-wheel motors. Other internal organs include an inverter, about the size of a VCR, changing direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).
“At the end of the year, all the seniors or juniors have to come up with pretty much an end-of-the-year project,” explained Zach Diaczynsky, a mechanical engineering graduate student.
“So this started out as that. (Sundarrao) had two groups: one working on the power for the wheels, and the second one was working on…the smoke, the eyes and kind of the support system inside to hold the smoke machine, the inverter, battery and everything.
Judged by the early results, the yet-to-be named Bull has the potential to attract plenty of attention over the course of the season. Here is a look at it in action:
Coming this Saturday to @RJStadium: the newest member of the #USF family. Talk about a Bull playing with a high motor pic.twitter.com/Y1TfAp1TH6
— Joey Knight (@TBTimes_Bulls) August 30, 2018
The Bull is expected to be fine tuned over time, with future engineering students potentially adding more functionalities. USF is set to face Elon in Saturday’s game, with kickoff scheduled for 6:00 p.m. eastern.
Image courtesy USF Football.