When you think of robots, names like R2D2 and C3PO from Star Wars instantly spring to mind. But in Saskatoon, a group of university students are putting their own stamp on some complex gadgets.

The latest invention from Devyn Farr and his senior engineering design team from the University of British Columbia is a miniature robotic tractor that can do more than meets the eye.

"They're micro controller driven. They have a small computer on board which we can program. They have sensors, we can hook up motors. We can program them to behave in different environments. They can be hooked up to a remote control. There are a lot of options you can do and it's all about the hardware you're given to attach to them," says Farr.

The project is one of ten being submitted by university students from across western Canada, who are testing their robotic skills in an engineering competition.

With the theme of the event surrounding agriculture, students we're asked to build a device that could perform tasks seen on the farm. And although the ideas seem simple, in the future many of these electronic creations could be doing a lot more than sorting grain

"You can have your robot go around your house and vacuum your floor for you. A friend of mine is working on a robot that can cook his dinner for him using robot arms that can stir the pot and chop up vegetables," says Farr.