Master Course Description

No: EE 402

Title: Engineering Design by Teams: Robotics II

Credits: 5

UW Course Catalog Description

Coordinator:Alexander Mamishev, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering

Goals: To learn prototyping techniques, product design, large engineering team methods, and mentoring techniques through participation in an international design contest.

Learning objectives: At the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Properly select and apply techniques of engineering creativity.
  2. Formulate design objectives.
  3. Manufacture prototypes of engineering products.
  4. Evaluate functionality and performance of engineering prototypes
  5. Design and construct computer-controlled electromechanical systems.
  6. Direct a multi-disciplinary engineering team towards accomplishing a technical goal.
  7. Present results of their work to a variety of audiences, including peers, professionals in the field, layman pubic, children, and media.
  8. Evaluate performance of mechanisms and software.
  9. Integrate subsystems into a single system.
  10. Systematically troubleshoot a complex engineering system.

Textbook: K. Otto and K. Wood, Product Design, Prentice Hall, 2001.

Reference texts:

Britt Rorabauch, Mechanical Devices For The Electronics Experimenter
Gordon McComb, The Robot Builder's Bonanza
Ben-Zion Sandler, Robotics: Designing the Mechanisms for Automated Machinery

Prerequisites by Topic:

  1. Circuit theory
  2. Calculus
  3. Introduction to differential equations
  4. Engineering Creativity

Class topics:

  1. Strategy of engineering contests. (wk 1)
  2. Organization of a large multi-disciplinary team. (wk 1)
  3. Brainstorming and idea evaluation. (wk 2)
  4. Rapid prototyping tools (wk 2)
  5. Computer-assisted design, advanced prototyping (wk 2)
  6. Electromechanical design (wk 2)
  7. Design of Experiments (wk 3)
  8. Testing and troubleshooting (wk 4)
  9. System integration (wk 5)
  10. Engineering trade-offs (wk 6)
  11. Mentoring (wk 7)
  12. Writing and presentation skills (wk 8)
  13. Life-long learning (wk 9)

Course structure: The class meets for two lectures a week, each consisting of two 50-minute sessions. A large number of meetings occurs outside of lectures. There is no written homework due. Students progress through stages of systems design at a rapid pace and must present results each week, mostly as hardware and software products. There is a large number of oral presentations each week, and a written report due at the end of the term.

Computer resources: There are two computer sessions conducted in general EE computing labs. No specialized software is required.

Laboratory resources: Access to ME machine shop is needed. Also, a sizable space (on the order of 1000 square feet) is needed to house design and construction activities.

Participation and initiative (instructor evaluation) 20%
Participation (peer evaluation) 20%
Team Project 20%
Class presentations 20%
Final Report 20%
Outcome coverage: This class covers all ABET-defined outcomes.

a. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering. A large hands-on project-oriented class calls for an extensive use of a multitude of mathematical, scientific, and engineering concepts. Examples include calculation of torque in robot arms, evaluation of energy transfer rates in PWM units, and understanding of laws of fluidics in design of pneumatic systems. (M)

b. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data. Students conduct dozens of experiments in the course of troubleshooting a working electromechanical system. Constant guidance and mentoring is provided. (M)

c. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs. Students conduct dozens of experiments in the course of design a working electromechanical system. Constant guidance and mentoring is provided. (M)

d. an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams. Students function as a highly interdisciplinary team of about people, covering electrical, mechanical, and computer engineering, marketing, project management, video production, media relationships, and human resource management. (H)

e. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems. Members of a large interdisciplinary team are broken into smaller sub-teams, each solving a separate engineering task. The transition is made from a general function formulation (e.g. lift a 20-pound box), to increasingly more specific problem formulation (e.g. construct a lifting arm, calculate parameters of the linkage systems, select building materials, etc.) (M)

f. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility. Students are interacting with a community of other competitors, several thousand people, constantly discussing appropriate as well as unacceptable methods of engineering competition. The large team interaction creates a rich environment of human relations, where honesty, reliability, dependency on others, and mutual respect play a critical role. (M)

g. an ability to communicate effectively. Students have defend their design ideas in front of the team, present them to outsiders, and, at a later stage, explain the strength of their concepts to judges and partners from other teams. (H)

h. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context. Engineering contests are designed to bring attention to the importance of technology in society, look for new applications of existing technologies, and definition of career paths, specifically, in public education. (M)

i. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning. Early in class students are introduced to techniques of independent learning, advanced literature search, and independent idea evaluation. A portion of the closing lecture of class is dedicated to discussion of research opportunities on campus, graduate school, and experiences of industrial engineers. (M)

j. knowledge of contemporary issues. Students interact with media and layman public and must explain why their activity is not a futile exercise. (M)

k. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. Students learn machining, programming, rapid prototyping, computer assisted design, project management, and information technology. The total number of used software packages is about ten, and the total number of major mechanical tools is about twenty. Not all students end up mastering all these tools, but they receive a broad exposure and teach each other. (M)

Prepared by: Alexander Mamishev

Last revised: 5/17/2007