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Analysis Of Competitions For Mechatronic Design Using Autonomous Mobile Robots

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ET Design Projects

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.223.1 - 8.223.14



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Paper Authors

author page

C. Richard Helps

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1476

Analysis of Competitions for Mechatronic Design Using Autonomous Mobile Robots

Jason Flint, Shawn Cheney, Blake Hale, C. Richard G. Helps Information Technology, Brigham Young University, Provo Utah.

Abstract There are many miniature robot-building competitions used in teaching mechatronics. Brigham Young University has historically used an autonomous miniature mobile robot competition as the basis for an upper-level mechatronics course. A new competition design was sought that satisfies specific criteria. The department-specified criteria include incorporating a balanced approach to teaching mechatronics fundamentals, providing inherent flexibility in difficulty level, scalability for varying student enrollment and future development, and increased student appeal. We evaluated 100 internet-sourced mechatronic mobile robot competitions using the defined criteria.

Analyses using these criteria allowed the identification of underlying principles employed in the exploration and teaching of mechatronics. We identified desirable educational and mechatronic outcomes for inclusion in the course. We then designed a new competition that meets all of the defined criteria. The new competition allows flexibility in development time requirements (ranging from one semester to multiple semesters) and provides options for many levels of difficulty. It was tailored to the new competition requirements by matching specific criteria to features and principles found in other competitions. The criteria, mechatronics teaching principles, and competition details are presented and discussed.

Mechatronics Development at Brigham Young University

Teaching mechatronics offers some specific challenges. A student with a background in computing, electronics or mechanics is unlikely to be proficient in all three areas, yet mechatronics requires the successful integration of these three disciplines. The EET (Electronics Engineering Technology) department at Brigham Young University traditionally taught mechatronic principles to upper-level students. This course was designed for students with backgrounds in computing, electronics and/or mechanics. As part of the course requirements, each team of students was required to create and program an autonomous robot that would compete in a task-oriented competition at the end of the semester. The evolution of the EET department into the current Information Technology department offered the opportunity to design a new mechatronics course to meet new needs. Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Helps, C. R. (2003, June), Analysis Of Competitions For Mechatronic Design Using Autonomous Mobile Robots Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11654

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