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BYOE: The Fidget Car—An Apparatus for Small-group Learning in Systems and Controls

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Panel Session

Tagged Division

Experimentation and Laboratory-Oriented Studies

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30171

Download Count

41

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Paper Authors

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Laura E. Ray Dartmouth College

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Dr. Ray is a professor of engineering sciences at the Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College. She received her B.E. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton Univ. and her M.S. degree from Stanford University. She is a co-founder of two companies. Her research and teaching interests include control theory, mechatronics, and robotics.

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Raina White Dartmouth College

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Raina White is an Engineering Lab Instructor at Dartmouth College. She earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a M.Eng in Systems engineering from Cornell University. She worked as a Systems Engineer at Hamilton Sundstrand, and then transitioned to teaching high school Physics. Currently Mrs. White works with students at Dartmouth College in systems, fluids, mechanical engineering, and automotive engineering courses and projects. She is very interested in improving student's ability to translate coursework into analysis applied to the design process.

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David M. Feinauer P.E. Norwich University

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Dr. Feinauer is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Freshman Engineering Coordinator at Norwich University. His scholarly work spans a number of areas related to engineering education, including P-12 engineering outreach, the first-year engineering experience, and incorporating innovation and entrepreneurship practice in the engineering classroom. Additionally, he has research experience in the areas of automation and control theory, and system identification. His work has been published through the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE); he is an active member of both organizations. He serves as advisor to the student entrepreneurship club and as the State Partner for the FIRST LEGO League Program—a nationally recognized program that incorporates robotics with innovation and community engagement. He holds a PhD and BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Kentucky.

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David A. Hodgson Union College

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Eric B. Welch Christian Brothers University

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Yeu-Sheng P. Shiue Christian Brothers University

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Paul Shiue, Ph.D., is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Department Chair at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Memphis. Dr. Shiue spent five summers as a NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellow at Marshall Space Flight Center. His interests include concurrent engineering, manufacturing, product realization processes, dynamics, vibrations, and material testing.

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Carlos L. Luck University of Southern Maine

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Jonathan West University of New Mexico

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Blair T. Allison Grove City College

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Blair T. Allison is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Grove City College. He teaches courses in system dynamics, control systems, robotics, mechanics of materials, materials science, and finite element analysis. Areas of research interest include the modeling and control of metal forming processes, manufacturing automation and control systems. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his B.S.M.E. degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Address: 100 Campus Drive, Grove City, PA 16127; Email: btallison@gcc.edu.

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Kevin Huang Trinity College Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-0300-9911

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Kevin Huang received the B.S. in Engineering and Mathematics from Trinity College, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering with concentration in Systems, Controls and Robotics at the University of Washington. His research focuses on evaluating haptic feedback, virtual fixtures and usability in telerobotic tasks, and exploring human factors in human robot interaction.

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Nathan Amanquah Ashesi University College

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Nathan Amanquah is a Senior Lecturer in the Electrical Engineering Department of the Ashesi University College. He teachings a number of electrical engineering courses including Electronics, and Electrical Machines. He has previously taught Computer Networks, Mobile Web Programming and advanced programming classes for 13 years. He has previously worked as a systems administrator, a communications engineer and as an automation engineer.
He has 20+ years of experience as a software developer and is a consultant on a wide range of mobile, information technology and telecommunications issues. He holds a BSc and a PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the (Kwame Nkrumah) University of Science and Technology, Ghana, and the University of Strathclyde, UK, respectively.   His research includes
1)Wireless technologies and protocols for IoT and wireless sensor networks,
2) Mobile Apps for development: Improving outcomes in health, education and agriculture using mobile applications. 

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Daniel Logan Ray

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Devin Tracey Montgomery Dartmouth College

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I am currently studying electrical engineering at Dartmouth College. During my first year, I was involved in a few extracurricular activities which included National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE), Afro-American-Society (AAm), and Club Basketball. As Programs Chair on NSBE I was responsible for networking with other chapters and determining new ways to involve our campus chapter with opportunities outside of Dartmouth. As Communications Chair on the AAm, I was responsible for interacting with several groups outside of the AAm community in order to encourage more external participation within the club. Many of my tasks included speaking with the African students on campus as well as some of the athletes. I planned and hosted an event with the black athletes on campus to discuss ways in how our two organizations were different and how we could assist each other.
Also during my freshman year, I participated in First Year Research in Engineering (FYRE) which allowed me to work with Professor Laura Ray on “Fidget Cars.” These cars were designed for a course at Dartmouth to help teach control theory, functions of controllers, as well as some other basic math and physics applications. The work done on this car ranged from working in the machine shop to build parts, testing motor characteristics, circuit design, and more. After participating in this project for most of the year, I plan to integrate computer science and mechanical engineering into my curriculum in aspiration of becoming a mechatronics engineer in the future.

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Prudence Merton Dartmouth College

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Vanessa Svihla University of New Mexico Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4342-6178

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Dr. Vanessa Svihla is a learning scientist and assistant professor at the University of New Mexico in the Organization, Information & Learning Sciences program, and in the Chemical & Biological Engineering Department. She served as Co-PI on an NSF RET Grant and a USDA NIFA grant, and is currently co-PI on three NSF-funded projects in engineering and computer science education, including a Revolutionizing Engineering Departments project. She was selected as a National Academy of Education / Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Svihla studies learning in authentic, real world conditions; this includes a two-strand research program focused on (1) authentic assessment, often aided by interactive technology, and (2) design learning, in which she studies engineers designing devices, scientists designing investigations, teachers designing learning experiences and students designing to learn.

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Abstract

We present the Fidget Car – a one degree-of-freedom car driven by a DC motor – for use in small group laboratory exercises or classroom-based small group learning activities of 10-40 minutes in length. These activities can be directed towards a number of STEM courses, ranging from undergraduate mathematics or introductory engineering to systems and controls classes in electrical and mechanical engineering. The motivation for developing these activities is to enable students to develop intuition regarding core systems and controls concepts prior to or integrated with presentation of mathematical concepts and analysis techniques: the activities are designed to enable students to “visualize” the mathematics of systems. We provide an overview of the Fidget Car design, a materials list, example activities and use cases for the Fidget Car, and a pointer to a Google site archiving materials for reproducing and using the Fidget Car. We illustrate approaches for data acquisition and analysis that incorporate only a smartphone, a laptop, and open-source physics software, enabling activities to be conducted in a classroom setting.

Ray, L. E., & White, R., & Feinauer, D. M., & Hodgson, D. A., & Welch, E. B., & Shiue, Y. P., & Luck, C. L., & West, J., & Allison, B. T., & Huang, K., & Amanquah, N., & Ray, D. L., & Montgomery, D. T., & Merton, P., & Svihla, V. (2018, June), BYOE: The Fidget Car—An Apparatus for Small-group Learning in Systems and Controls Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30171

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