Summer SAVY Session 2, Day 4 – Robotic Engineering
Day 4: This morning, our engineers continued work on their prosthetics. Some companies took inspiration from previous projects and made improvements, while others experimented with free builds. Several created grab-and-release claw-style hands by applying knowledge from yesterday’s build to create devices for a factory worker, a musician, a fashion salesperson, and a night guard. One design for a professional baseball player was able to actually catch a whiffle ball, and another team built a multi-function tool that allowed a carpenter to both drill and hammer! It was interesting to learn how each team programmed their devices in different ways utilizing the force and color sensors. During their presentations, colleagues were asked to share how they were able to break up the work, share their teamwork successes, and identify areas for improvement.
In the afternoon, we constructed a pinball machine. This was a technically challenging build and time was tight. Our teams divided the work allowing for simultaneous building and programming. Fortunately, we were able to finish a few of the builds and each student was able to try their hand at pinball! Most players were able to score a couple of points, but we have several “champion” players among us!
Tomorrow, we will need to make some big decisions within our workgroups. Dealing with disappointment can be tough, especially when our ideas are rejected. We discussed different ways of looking at the decision-making process and how we can frame our perspectives to lessen the disappointment.
We’ve had so much fun this week; it’s hard to believe tomorrow is our last day. We will hold an in-class “Invention Convention” to put everything we’ve learned this week to the test. Students will have an opportunity to revisit and improve upon a previous project or create an entirely new build. (Please note, students will not be allowed to build weapons or engage in “battle bot” contests. “Battle bots” may be constructed and demonstrated, but cannot interact with other builds.) Each company will choose its project and follow the engineering design process to see it to fruition. At the end of the day, each company will give a sales pitch to “investors” (classmates).
Thursday’s Fun Facts:
We watched Swedish Folktronica band Wintergatan’s music machine video and many students are inspired to build their own machines. Check out their YouTube channel (wintergatan2000) for detailed videos about their design process.