In modern engineering, a systematic approach is used in the design,
operation, and construction of an object to reach a desired goal. The first step
of the process employs what is commonly known as the scientific method. The
next step involves forming an interdisciplinary team of specialists from not
only the various engineering disciplines, but from other fields whose knowledge
may be useful or even necessary to completing the project. This step doesn't
apply to our project, due the confined nature of the class. Finally,
considerations must be taken into account to ensure that the project is
efficient as well as cost effective.
The goal of the MOBOT Project was to design and build a programmable
robot. The robot had to complete a series of four movements in four given
directions over a distance of at least 6 inches. Power and weight restrictions
were applied to ensure the safety of the students and, more importantly, the
teacher. As the goals of the project were made clearer, our group began
discussing possible ideas for the design. There were some disagreements about
whether we should take the electromechanical route or the purely electrical one.
And after some deep thought, we all agreed that the mechanical way would be the
simplest to build and the most merciful on our pocketbooks. Even though we were
coming up with some good ideas, each design seemed to contain some major
problems. One of the reoccurring problems dealt with the synchronization of the
driver motor and the steering system. Finally the team came up with a design
that allowed the drive and steering controls to be independent of one another,
but still allowing each one to be linked in time. This design has now become
what is known as LONGWOOD.
The Longwood is divided into two main parts: 1)motion system and 2)logic
board. As the engineer, I was responsible for motion design. Therefore, that
will be the focus for the remainder of this section.... [continues]
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