Smart Product Design
For my masters program at Stanford University, I completed a depth sequence in mechatronics by taking the smart product design series. After testing out of ME218A: Smart Product Design Fundamentals, I went on to take ME218B: Smart Product Design Applications and ME218C: Smart Product Design Practice. All the coursework was done in groups of four: Joy Xi, Darren Chen and Sam Hochheimer for 218B and Matt Appleby, Darren Chen and Sam Hochheimer for 218C.
In ME218B, I was primarily in charge of building electrical subsystems such as inductive, infrared and line sensing circuits, and working on a select few mechanical ones. In addition, I wrote the interfaces for the electrical subsystems into the ARM processor we were using as the brain of our game playing robot. Like all group projects, there was also a large amount of helping troubleshoot and interface with all parts of the project.
In ME218C, I did the mechanical and electrical systems of our remote control hovercraft. I also designed and machined a steel reaction wheel using a feedback brushless motor controller so that we could rotate the hovercraft without using differential thrust. The CAD for the hovercraft was all parametric and allowed us to quickly iterate on designs laser cut from foam core. I also did the software integration, and made sure that the wireless communication with the controller done by Darren was within specifications.
ME218 was a great way to formalize my knowledge of mechatronics, and further develop teamwork skills. It helped fill in the gaps of my understandings of mechatronics, and practice concepts of mechatronics integration that I may have missed in my personal explorations into smart product design.