ME210: Introduction to Mechatronics
Team 7: Money on Fire
Mechatronics is robot-building, and a class that I had been looking forward to taking for years. It lived up to every expectation of being an extremely challenging class, but also very fun. I learned so much from this class, from electronics and circuit design to programming to the integration of electromechanical systems. We started the quarter with weekly problem sets and lab projects, and then our final project was to build a robot in just three weeks! We were in groups of 4 people, and I had a fabulous group!
The challenge theme was the Fiscal Cliff and sumo wrestling. Our autonomous robots, dubbed SumoSenators, faced off on a platform surrounded by foam, trying to push each other off the cliff before the Sequester got us! (the Sequester was a moving wall that would push us both off if we took too long)
Each robot had an infrared beacon on top, so that the other robot could find it. There was also black tape around the entire platform, so the robots could sense the tape and not run themselves off the platform. We had to design the circuits to use the sensors, spec the motor and motor drivers, design the chassis, and write the software for the Arduino to control everything. Our robot used 3 IR sensors, 4 tape sensors, 2 limit switches for bump sensors, a 2-wheel drive system with high torque motors and special grippy wheels, and H-bridge motor drivers. We had to create a website for the final report, so all the details about it can be found here: Team 7: Money on Fire's Final Report