ME 333 Suggested Final Projects

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Students working on the projects listed below may begin their work right away, upon approval. Students wishing to propose their own project must write a proposal of approximately 3-5 pages, with at least one drawing (hand drawing OK) showing the whole device, a paragraph or two discussing the overall function and goal of the project, as well as discussions of the sensors and actuators you will use, the computation, and the mechanical design. Although you do not have to have worked out all the details, the proposal should show that you've thought about how the whole project will work. It can be a fun whimsical project, or it can solve a practical problem. Your project should creatively use simple sensors and actuation, but your proposal should be beyond simply applying what we do in lab. Previous projects are a good indicator of what's possible. Your proposal must also include milestones to be met during week 8.

Your final project cannot be a robot for DC.

Projects will be judged on functionality (does it do what it's supposed to do? does it serve a useful function?), reliability (does it do it every time?), ambitiousness (is the problem challenging? did you contribute a new capability to the wiki?), and aesthetic appeal (is it packaged nicely? is it pleasing to watch or fun to interact with?).

Recommended Projects


Make a planar puppet actuated by strings pulled by robot arms out of view of the viewer. The robot arms could be actuated by RC servos. Week 8 milestone: Demonstrate controlled 2-DOF motion.

Moving Fish Refuge

(Client: Prof. Malcolm MacIver.) The weakly electric knifefish often prefers to hide in tight spaces rather than to swim in the open. See this video of this fish attempting to stay hidden in a tube as it is moved back and forth. Prof. MacIver would like to build a tube that can move under computer control, at different angles (other than purely horizontally), to see what motions of the tube the fish will track. You will build a 1-DOF prismatic device that slides a tube back and forth, and design a mechanism so that the angle of the tube can be changed relative to the linear slide. Week 8 milestone: Demonstrate controlled motion of a carriage along a linear rail using either a stepper motor or a motor and encoder.

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