AUTONOMOUS WALKING MACHINE
This project phase of the course capitalizes upon the design creativity lectures and the design-for-
manufacture lectures presented in ME371 and ME471, and it is structured to provide you with the
appropriate experience needed for ME481.
This educational experience is based upon the old Chinese
"Tell me, I forget,
Show me, I remember,
Involve me, I understand."
Engineering is primarily the process of creating new things, or designing new products to solve problems
Unfortunately the majority of the educational experience in the undergraduate
engineering curriculum focuses on the analysis of existing things.
The project component of this course
is an attempt to provide engineering students with a real-world opportunity to develop hands-on
experience with the design-build-test cycle associated with the design of new things, and the development
of solutions to ill-defined open-ended problems.
This class project has four primary objectives, which are:-
To learn how to design a product as part of a team activity.
To learn about the product realization process, in order to develop better quality designs in less
To learn how to be more creative in solving open-ended problems.
To synthesize an idea, refine it by analysis, build the appropriate hardware, test the hardware, and
compare the results from the mathematical models with the experimental test data and the original
The project attempts to provide you with a competition in a real-world engineering atmosphere. There is a
limited amount of time.
The hardware resources are limited.
There are constraints and competing
Every effort is made to ensure that the contest is fair: you are provided with the essential
ingredients, the time, and access to machine shop facilities.
The only variable is your motivation, talent
Many lessons will be learned from this exercise.
project management, the necessity
for integrating theories from the different disciplines of the engineering sciences, the development of
computer models, the benefits of prototypical activities and testing, the advantages of modular designs,
the frustrations and joys of the design process, and of course the juxtaposition of design and manufacture.
This is quite a challenge.
1. A competition will be held at the MSU Union Building on
Friday 28 April 2006
to determine the best
design of a “Autonomous Walking Machine” (AWM).
You will be responsible for designing, building,
and testing your AWM and also participating in the competition while your class colleagues and
numerous pre-college students, parents and friends observe the event.
A schedule shall be distributed
closer to the day of the contest indicating the start times for each team.