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Project Ponderosa - Bridging Robot Simulation with Design

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2021 ASEE Pacific Southwest Conference - "Pushing Past Pandemic Pedagogy: Learning from Disruption"



Publication Date

April 23, 2021

Start Date

April 23, 2021

End Date

April 25, 2021

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Scott Matthew Boskovich California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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Dr. Scott Boskovich received his degree in Electrical Engineering focusing on Intelligent Systems. He has over 20 years of design experience from industry and has been teaching for over 20 years, 15 years part-time and now is a tenured track professor in Electromechanical Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. His primary focus of research is robotics, autonomous vehicles and embedded systems and teaches related subject matter courses.

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Chris Burns Boys Republic

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Licensed Psychologist, Executive Director of Boys Republic since 2010, with organization since 1993.

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Engineering design uses simulation tools as a fundamental element in industry to aid in engineering design and development. Simulation tools provide insight to key specific aspects of a design while providing insight to trade-offs within the design space. One key area includes robotics and automation systems which are complex designs requiring elements of software, electronics, and mechanical systems to interoperate collectively. To achieve a successful design in this area, simulation becomes a vital phase within these domains to ensure each element operates as intended and that all elements integrate correctly at a system level. During the 2020 academic year, although COVID19 altered how students were able develop and showcase their work, however it provided students the opportunity to fully realize and embrace simulation tools. The students from Cal Poly Pomona were able to develop and validate a full simulation of a robotic system that integrated computer vision, mechanical design, and user interface development for their work on Project Ponderosa

Project Ponderosa is a continuing joint effort between Cal Poly Pomona and Boys Republic High School to develop a robot system that aids in the manufacturing of Christmas Wreaths by Boys Republic. In prior years, work was performed on the Boys Republic High School campus by Cal Poly Pomona students as they developed and built various robot and automation systems. However, when COVID19 occurred, the Cal Poly Pomona team transitioned their engineering effort to construct a design and validation of a robotic system as a continued effort. This also provided them an opportunity to share with Boys Republic the ongoing design and allowed the customer to gain insight during the design and development phases. Upon completion of their efforts, the Cal Poly Pomona engineering students were able to demonstrate to Boys Republic the next generation robot system design using a robot system simulation tool that included the mechatronics, electronics, computer vision, fluid dynamics and user control interfaces for the system. As a result of the COVID19 shutdowns, the students were able to gain a deeper understanding and benefit of simulation specifically applied to robot designs.

Boskovich, S. M., & Burns, C. (2021, April), Project Ponderosa - Bridging Robot Simulation with Design Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Pacific Southwest Conference - "Pushing Past Pandemic Pedagogy: Learning from Disruption", Virtual.

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