Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Robots Move Plastic Monkeys from the Cage to the Tree / Engineering Students on Warren Mall

Jacobs School of Engineering undergrads in the MAE 3 class this quarter had their robot competition today over in the basketball courts at the old gym (check out the sweet pano-photo on the MAE3 course site linked above). We caught some of the students carting (literally) their robots, and plastic monkey trees and monkey cages across Warren Mall. The name of the robot contest? “Planet of the Apes Robot Contest.”

Zach Johnson, a sophomore bioengineering major, was part of Team Catastrophe…though the robot competition was anything but for him. He and sophomore bioengineer Jeff Lim, from Team Hazard, agreed that the robot competition was a great finals week project, especially since their grades were not riding on their, or their robots’ performance. Students were evaluated last week based on their robot effectiveness.

We also ran into (and photographed) two of the section tutors for the class, Sara Taghizadeh (below), a senior mechanical engineering major, and Sam Jafarian (behind the cart), a second year mechanical engineering major who joked back and forth with each other as a crowd of pre- and post-exam students passed by their big cart loaded down more robots, trees and plastic-monkey cages.

This course introduces the fundamentals of engineering graphics and the design. Emphasis is placed on applying engineering tools to design and fabrication of working machines. Course material will be centered around two projects:

Model Clock Project (2.5 weeks): Students will use AutoCAD to design an escapement wheel and pendulum for a model clock, and make the model using shop tools.

Robot Design Project (7.5 weeks): Teams of students will design and build a machine for a competition using DC motors, solenoids, and fabrication tools.

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