Applying Mechatronics to Promote Science / Central Brooklyn Robotics Initiative (AMPS / CBRI)

**Jennifer S. Haghpanah**, Ph.D. (4th. year) Chemical and Biological Sciences

**Summary:** Students will work as physicists to understand centripetal acceleration concepts. They will also learn about a good robot design and the accelerometer sensor. They will learn about centripetal acceleration/ force is governed by the radius between the motor and accelerometer. They will also learn about how the mass plays an important role in the centripetal acceleration/ force. It is important for students to learn about how graph their own data.

Teachengineering.org | Complete Activity (pdf) | Worksheet (pdf) | Pre Evaluation (pdf) | Post Evaluation (pdf)

**Stanislav Roslyakov**, M.S (1st. year) Civil Engineering

**Summary:** Student teams design their own booms (bridges) and engage in a friendly competition with other teams to test their designs. Each team strives to design a boom that is light, can hold a certain amount of weight, and is affordable to build. Teams are also assessed on how close their design estimations are to the final weight and cost of their boom "construction." This activity teaches students how to simplify the math behind the risk and estimation process that takes place at every engineering firm prior to the bidding phase—when an engineering firm calculates how much money it will take to build the project and then "bids" against other competitors.

**Michael Trumpis**, MS (2nd. year) Electrical Engineering

**Summary:** At its core, the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT product provides a programmable microprocessor. Students use the NXT processor to simulate an experiment involving thousands of uniformly random points placed within a unit square. Using the underlying geometry of the experimental model, as well as the geometric definition of the constant π (pi), students form an empirical ratio of areas to estimate a numerical value of π. Although typically used for numerical integration of irregular shapes, in this activity, students use a Monte Carlo simulation to estimate a common but rather complex analytical form—the numerical value of the most famous irrational number, π.

**Paul Phamduy**, Ph.D (2nd. year) Mechanical Engineering

**Summary:** Students create model elevator carriages and calibrate them, similar to the work of design and quality control engineers. Students use measurements from rotary encoders to recreate the task of calibrating elevators for a high-rise building. They translate the rotations from an encoder to correspond to the heights of different floors in a hypothetical multi-story building. Students also determine the accuracy of their model elevators in getting passengers to their correct destinations.

**Nicole Abaid**, Ph.D. (2nd. year) Mechanical Engineering

**Summary:** Students will use a resistor- capacitor circuit to explore the concept of frequency. Students will learn to build with resistors, capacitors, and light emitting diodes on a prototyping board. By investigating the formula for the time constant of the system, students will be able to explore the physical concept of frequency.

**Stanislav Roslyakov**, M.S (2nd. year) Civil Engineering

**Summary:** Students groups act as aerospace engineering teams competing to create linear equations to guide space shuttles safely through obstacles generated by a modeling game in level-based rounds. Each round provides a different configuration of the obstacle, which consists of two "gates." The obstacles are presented as asteroids or comets, and the linear equations as inputs into autopilot on board the shuttle. The winning group is the one that first generates the successful equations for all levels. The game is created via the programming software MATLAB, available as a free 30-day trial. The activity helps students make the connection between graphs and the real world. In this activity, they can see the path of a space shuttle modeled by a linear equation, as if they were looking from above.

**Nicole Abaid**, Ph.D. (2nd. year) Mechanical Engineering

**Summary:** Students use a ball launcher to study projectile motion. By using a LEGO NXT brick and light sensor to make a photogate and Mindstorms software with real-time data logging, students can measure the time of flight for a ball. Students use these data to estimate the maximum height attained by the ball by simultaneously solving three algebraic equations.

Complete Activity (pdf) | Worksheet (pdf) | Building Instructions (pdf)

**Jennifer S. Haghpanah**, Ph.D. (4th. year) Chemical and Biological Sciences

**Summary:** Students will work as engineers and learn about the properties of four wheel drive vehicles. They will also learn about a good robot design, properties of tension and traction. They will learn about trial and error and the amount of trial and error it takes to have the robot maneuver through the door with tension. It is important for students to learn about the amount of time it takes to design a good robot to complete a task.