The Mobot Project: Longwood

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The MOBOT Project: Longwood

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...
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