Course Overview

Through a significant project experience, students will learn to integrate analysis, qualitative design, quantitative optimization, experiments, and simulations to improve their ability to engineer real systems. In each section of the course, students will work in small multidisciplinary teams to design and to build a mechatronic system of their own choosing. Each project must include both a nontrivial mechanical system design and a nontrivial electronic system design involving both hardware and software components. Projects will be subject to realistic materials, process, and budgetary constraints.

This course builds upon many semesters of iteration after Brad Minch developed it. Previous PoE instructors that influenced this semester are: Aaron Hoover, Andrew Bennett, Mark Chang, Oscar Mur-Miranda, Gui Cavalcanti, Amon Millner, and Chris Murphy.

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Work effectively as a member of a project team.
  • Develop design concepts and create technical specifications that address defined needs.
  • Balance trade-offs and make defensible choices among design alternatives.
  • Use modern tools to construct mechatronic systems.
  • Assess and select appropriate components for mechatronic circuits and systems.
  • Use written, oral, and graphical communication to convey design ideas and solutions, electronic system analyses, and experimental results.
  • Undertake an iterative prototyping process to improve design ideas.

Prerequisite: ENGR 1110.


The following elements will determine your grade:
3 Lab assignments (done in pairs)
1 Project (done in teams of 4)

More course information via the syllabus.


Presentation Slides

Past Projects

Painting with Paintballs
An automatic bike lock with proximity detection
A refreshable braille display
A dancing robot that responds to smiling faces
A cake decorating robot
A robot that draws henna designs on hands
Wizard's chess
A haptic anklet that gives walking directions
A piano-playing robot that reads sheet music
A robot that plays water pong
A target tracking, paintball turret and gun
A jigsaw puzzle-solving robot
An intuitively-controlled DIY prosthetic arm
A surface-swimming snake with obstacle avoidance
An interactive piano staircase
A robot that plays boardgames
Art Generator
A Churro Robot
A Dodgeball Machine
Fly High - Kinect-controlled Dirigible
Swarm Bots


Siddhartan Govindasamy

To email instructor use: poe{dot}instructors{at}olin{dot}edu

Office hours:
All office hours by appointment

Course Assistants

Joe Kochevar

Victoria Preston

Ninja office hours

Joe (Sun. 2 - 4 pm)
Victoria (Wed. 3:30 - 5:30 pm)

Meeting time / room

Mon., Thu. 1:30 - 3:10 AC306

Classroom Survey

Take a survey about the physical space configuration in AC306