3D Printers, micromouse robotics, and robotic arms. Today was a great day for making.
Aaron Lucia [CSE ’17] is the first to 3D print an enclosure and gears for his team’s maze-solving MicroMouse robot. Here is a video of last year’s all-freshman team taking 1st place at the MicroMouse competition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE4V7iMUHj8
Onlookers Walter Brown [CSE/CS ’16] (right) and Jake Spinney [CSE ’16] (left) watch the printer at work as it prints the base and walls of Aaron’s (middle) enclosure.
Walter then got to work on re-resurrecting a 1980s robotic arm, after its first (known) resurrection at last years HackUMass 14: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alwlA4jO5rs&index=6&list=PL-ncmR8qLthwr2-8EsWj_Bdy3G8i2j–G
Earlier in the week, Walter and Minh Tran [CSE ’16] started reviving the arm (MiniMover) to give M5 some electronic life. It is now up and running, just in time to give a show for the early-acceptance tours coming through.
This past Saturday, students spent the afternoon in M5 playing with arduinos, learning to solder, and brainstorming project ideas.
Walter Brown [CSE/CS ’16] introduced brother Jacob Brown [high school] to arduino. They started with a blinking LED, and adapted it to a variable tone generator. [Picture]
Jason Nguyen [EE ’17] came by to go above and beyond with his MIPS assembly code project for ECE 232, and then went through some arduino example projects.
Adish Rai [CSE/CS ’18], Anthony Chan [CSE/CS ’18], and graduate student Somnath Chakraborty [ECE ’16] brainstormed ideas for a ‘shake-to-recharge’ circuit that would harness kinetic energy via electromagnetic induction and use that to store electrical energy to be delivered to a phone. Concepts such as power and energy conservation, electromagnetic induction, rectification, inductance, capacitance, and mechanical-to-electric conversion were discussed and applied using the tools provided by M5.
We were excited to have all of these interested students, and look forward to seeing their projects in the future.
Prof. Weibo Gong was the guest speaker at our third bagel breakfast of the spring semester:
M5 Talks:::> Prof. Weibo Gong
From the Cultural Revolution to the Cyber Revolution
Thursday, 12 February 2015, 8:30 AM, M5
Marcus Hall, lower level, room 5
Bruegger’s bagels, cream cheese, coffee and loads of intelligence…
Prof. Gong was born and raised in the People’s Republic of China. In 1966, Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976), the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, began what is known as the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). Prof. Gong will share how the Cultural Revolution had a direct impact on his training and education. Prof. Gong will then proceed to discuss how his career has led him to his work in the field of automatic control and his current research interest in how the human mind works.
Before arriving in Amherst this winter, Dr. Holcomb was as a research fellow at the University of Michigan, where he did research on medical security, embedded systems and security, and approximate computing. His research interests also include physical unclonable functions, cyber-physical systems, applied formal methods, and VLSI design. His Ph.D. is from the University of California at Berkeley in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. His B.S. in Computer Systems Engineering, summa cum laude, as well as his M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering were earned at UMass Amherst.
Students enjoyed some Bruegger’s bagels and coffee and learned about Prof. Holcomb’s engineering career and current research projects.
This event was hosted by Prof. Baird Soules, director of M5.
Circuits and Code is coming! The end-of-term exposition of M5, its students, projects, and other amazing technological whizbangery is scheduled for Thursday, 4 December 2014, starting at 6PM at M5. There will be pizza, posters, and a presentation. Please sign up using EventBrite (circuitsandcode-dec2014.eventbrite.com) so we know how many people are coming!
If you have spent time at M5 this term, and would like to present your work, please use this template. Complete the template and get it to me by Wednesday for approval before I give it to Professor Soules at 3:00.
The 7:30 PM presentation by Chuck Malloch will feature Ultra Violet, the teleoperated robot M5 has made in collaboration with the Theater Department, and the differences between a project made for one’s own use and one made for delivery to another party.
Project: Single string guitar & pick-up.
Contributors: Nico Blase [EE ’16] & Jose LaSalle [EE ’16]
Explanation: A magnet is placed in a coil of wire such that a large magnetic field is imposed within the coil. We know that fluctuations in a coil’s magnetic field induces a voltage and mutually arising current.
So how does the magnetic field in our coil change? By plucking the metal string! When we strum the string, its vibrations effect the magnetic field at the frequency to which it is tuned (around hundreds of times per second). This, in turn, is picked up by the coil. The result is an voltage across and current through the coil that represents the sound of the vibrating string. All that’s left to do after that is to plug that into an amplifier and crank up the gain!
Andrew Sousa EE ’15 has been busy working on an amazing little maze-solving robot – a Micromouse.But what is a Micromouse you ask? A Micromouse is an autonomous robot that navigates a 16 x 16 maze, finds the center, and then calculates the quickest route to the middle, from the starting point.
As Andrew explains, “We are using stepper motors, an Arduino Mega, and various other components to achieve this goal. The IEEE Micromouse competition is an international challenge which was started by the IEEE in London back in 1987. Currently IEEE holds regional, national, and international Micromouse competitions; and the way to move onto the next one is to win at each level! UMass IEEE is entering a mouse into the R1(Region 1) competition for the first time in more than 3 years, better yet, we have two teams from UMass competing! If we do well in this one, we will move on to the national competition and eventually the international version, provided we can perform.”Keep up the great work!