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: Siddhartan Govindasamy, Aaron Hoover, Mark Chang, and Oscar Mur-Miranda 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.

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.


Date Notes Activities
Thu 1/24 Course logistics
in-class Getting Started Lab [LINK]. Get Arduino IDE installed, introduce circuit diagramming. Lab 0 assigned [Lab 0 LINK].
Mon 1/28 Lab 0 work Review the lab report style guide.
Thu 1/31 Due during class: Lab 0 Lab 1 assigned LINK. Also watch this intro to LIDAR video for background information.

Mon 2/4
Lab 1 work

Thu 2/7
Lab 1 work

Mon 2/11
Due during class: Lab 1 Lab 2 assigned LINK.

Thu 2/14
Lab 2 work

*Tue 2/19
Lab 2 work

Thu 2/21
Lab 2 work

Mon 2/25
Due: Lab 2 Project pre-proposal assigned LINK.

*Thu 2/28
No Class, Due: (via email) Project pre-proposal Project proposal assigned LINK

Mon 3/4
project work

Thu 3/7
Due: Project proposal Design review guidelines shared via a [LINK] that will be live on 3/7.
Mon 3/11
project work - special topic: connecting physical things to the internet

Thu 3/14

NINJA-led project work
Mon 3/18

NO CLASS - spring break

Thu 3/21
NO CLASS - spring break

Mon 3/25
project work

Thu 3/28
Design Review 1

Mon 4/1
NINJA-led project work

Thu 4/4
project work

Mon 4/8
project work

Thu 4/11
project work
Wed 4/17 project work

Thu 4/18
Technical Review
Mon 4/22 Process Review Final project write up guidelines shared via this [LINK] in class on 4/22.

Thu 4/25
guest speaker: Matt DuPlessie, President & CEO of 5 Wits Productions. project work

Mon 4/29
project work

Thu 5/2
Due: project

Due: all project documentation Final project documentation due Tuesday 5/7 12PM - 3PM, clean up by end of finals period
OLIN EXPO day 5/13 Project presentations at the EXPO

PoE 2013 projects


Art Generator

Swarm Bots

Fly High


Amon Millner
Office hours:
Wed 2-3PM or by appointment

Teaching Assistants / NINJAS

Laurel Kroo, George Herring

2013 Meeting time / room

Mon, Thu 1:30-3:10
Olin Academic Center 306