ECE 491 - Senior Design
ISE 491 - Senior Design

ME 492 - Senior Mechanical Engineering Design Project
Fall 2010

September 2, 2010

Fall 2010 Design Project Description:

For the Fall 2010 Senior Design experience, we will be designing, building, testing and competing with small, autonomous robots that can perform the following task:

The robots will begin at a starting position on a curved line of tape placed on the floor (may be tile or carpet), move forward along the tape line to a set of 4 stairs, climb the stairs to a platform, move onto the platform, turn 90 degrees, climb down another set of 4 stairs and move along the tape line to the stairs again. Two laps of this circuit will constitute one run.

The stairs will be constructed from readily available materials suitable for building exterior decks. The stairs will be open (no risers) and will be approximately 45-60 cm wide. The stairs and platform will not have sides or guards of any kind. It is possible that the actual set of stairs used for the competition may not be constructed until just before the competition. Once the competition set is constructed, detailed drawings and dimensions will be distributed to each design group. The competition stairs may not be available for testing before the competition.

In order to successfully complete the task, the robot must closely follow the line of tape and touch the top of each step and the platform. Small obstacles will be placed near the tape line, but no closer than 8-in (20 cm) to the line. Robots touching these obstacles will be assign a time penalty. The tape line shall not have a radius of curvature smaller than 20-in (51 cm).

During the course of the semester additional constraints may be placed on the behavior of the robots due to safety or fairness considerations. Updates will be made on this web page. Check back often for the latest information.

The competition will consist of 3 trials for each team´s robot, with the shortest of the three times taken as the scoring time. Each trial is limited to 5 minutes; trials that last longer than 5 minutes or in which the robot falls off the stairs or platform will be assigned a time of 300 seconds. The score for the competition will be the scoring time in seconds, plus 10 seconds for each obstacle touched by the robot, multiplied by the volume (in cubic centimeters) of the bounding rectangular box the robot fits into when it is in climbing configuration. The lowest score wins. Faster, smaller, more accurate robots will score better than slower, larger, less accurate robots.


On Friday December 3, 2010 Monday December 6, 2010 a competition will be held for all of the design groups from 10:00 am - noon.

Discussion for the final written reports:

For your final written reports, in addition to your technical discussions, you are to discuss applications of the technologies that you are exploring and developing in this project. For your final report, discuss various applications of the technologies, with specific emphasis on: