Name: Amon Millner
Office: AC 312
Hours: Come by or by appointment
Phone: 781-292-2534

Name: Brad Minch
Office: MH 354
Hours: Come by or by appointment
Phone: 781-292-2566

Name: Daniela Faas
Office: MH 369 / AC 105
Hours: Come by or by appointment
Phone: 781-292-2554

Name: Stan Reifel
Office: NA
Hours: by request in PoE studios
Phone: TBA


Lacie Fradet
Elena Meyerson
Sam Myers
Toby Shapinsky
Annie Kroo
Alex Hoppe
Kyle Combes
Alex Scott
*NINJA hours are posted under "schedule" below


Section 1: AC306 TF 9:00am - 10:40am
Section 2: AC309 TF 9:00am - 10:40am
Section 3: AC306 TF 10:50am - 12:30pm
Section 4: AC309 TF 10:50am - 12:30pm


In this course, students will practice analysis, design, construction, testing, and debugging of real electromechanical systems. Through a substantial multidisciplinary team project experience, students will apply those skills to engineering a complete mechatronic system of their own design. Every project will include a nontrivial mechanical system design, a nontrivial electronic system design, a microcontroller, and all hardware, firmware, and software components necessary for integration. Projects are subject to realistic materials, process, and budgetary constraints.

Learning Objectives

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.

Course Structure and Policies


35% lab assignments, 65% final project (deliverables at 2-week intervals)


During the first third of the semester, you will be working in groups of two or three on a series of three labs in which you will gain experience working with the Arduino Uno R3 platform. The Arduino is an integrated system consisting of a microcontroller (ATmega328), a device to translate between USB and serial, and a number of input/ouput (sometimes referred to as GPIO or I/O) pins. The microcontroller is essentially a single-chip computer with a small amount of data and program memory, and a number of peripheral devices that are useful in embedded systems and computer interfaces. You will be learning how to build circuits around this chip, how to write firmware for it, how to program it, and how to use the peripherals that are most relevant to mechatronic systems. Some common mechatronic tasks you will undertake in the labs include sensing, actuation, and communication. Each lab group will submit a joint lab report. The report for a given lab will be due in the next class period after that lab is completed.


During the last two thirds of the semester, you will be working in a group of three to five students in the class on a design project that interests you. You will be forming your own teams based your interest in potential project ideas.

Project Phase Mechanics

At the start of the project phase of the course, each student will be required to submit at least one brief project preproposal sketching out a project idea. Teams will be formed based on shared interest in the most popular and feasible ideas. Project work will proceed in a series of four two-week “sprints.” Each sprint is preceded by a sprint planning session, and ends with a sprint review in which the team must present an integrated prototype that works well enough that they can get useful feedback from professors, ninjas, and their peers. The final sprint review will be the class “demo day.” At the end of the project, the team must submit a website documenting their system and the design and engineering process they used to create it.

Late Policy

Late assignments and project deliverables will be penalized at a rate of up to 10% per day or fraction thereof. Extensions requested at least 24 hours before the due date will almost always be granted. With the exception of unforeseeable events such as illness or family emergency, extensions requested within 24 hours of a due date will not be granted.

Project Budgets

Each project group will have a total project budget of $250 to cover the cost of materials, supplies, fabrication, and shipping. You are welcome to spend more than $250 on your projects, but you will be personally responsible for the additional costs.

Ordering Project Supplies

Electronic components should generally be ordered through the ECE Stockroom by submitting the Olin ECE Stockroom Parts Request Form.

Raw stock like acrylic, hardboard, aluminum and steel sheet metal, rod stock, and bar stock can be obtained from the "The Stock Market" on the first floor of the Academic Center outside the main shop. Fasteners are available on the prototyping cart in classroom and also in The Hardware Cabinet next to The Stock Market on the first floor of the AC.

To purchase other types of supplies you might need, there are two options. One option is to fill out the Request to Process Order Form, which is an Excel spreadsheet. You can fill it out and e-mail it to the course instructors and we will forward it on to one of the administrative assistants for processing.

Another option is to purchase them yourself (trying to use our tax-exempt status when possible) and get reimbursed. To do so, you will need to provide original receipts, fill out a copy of the Student Reimbursement Form, have one of the course instructors sign it, and turn it in to Holly Bennett (MH 360), Marcella Fornagiel (MH 317), or Paul Coveney (MH 260). Please note that Olin will not reimburse you for purchases made from another student in the class. In such cases, the student who made the original purchase and has the original receipt should seek reimbursement from the College. Please also note that you must have direct deposit set up with the College to be reimbursed. The College strongly discourages the use of expedited shipping, and will not reimburse for overnight shipping. Please plan your orders accordingly!


  • Handout 0 – August 31, 2018 – Lab Report Style Guide
  • Handout 1 – August 31, 2018 – Lab 0: A simple LED circuit
  • Handout 2 – August 31, 2018 – Lab 1: BYOBL: Build Your Own Bike Light
  • Handout 3 – September 11, 2018 – Lab 2: A DIY 3D Scanner
  • Handout 4 – September 25, 2018 – Lab 3: A Line Following Robot
  • Handout 5 – October 2, 2018– Project Ideation Assignment
  • Handout 6 – October 5, 2018 – Team Formation Survey
  • Handout 7 – October 9, 2018 – Project preproposal assignment
  • Handout 8 – October 12, 2018 – Final project assignment
  • Handout 9 – October 12, 2018 – Sprint Review Assignment
  • Handout 10 – October 12, 2018 – Sprint Review Rubric


Week Date Due In-class
One 8/31 Lab 0 Lab 0 (Lab 1 Assigned)
Two 9/4 None Work on Lab 1
9/7 None Work on Lab 1
Three 9/11 Lab 1 Lab 2 Assigned
9/14 None No class (Olin Monday)
Four 9/18 Work on Lab 2
9/21 Work on Lab 2
Five 9/25 Lab 2 Lab 3 Assigned
9/28 Work on Lab 3
Six 10/2 Individually submit 3 ideas to the project ideation Trello board. Work on Lab 3
10/5 Upvote project ideas.
Work on Lab 3
Seven 10/9 Submit the Team Formation Survey by 5:00pm 10/10/18.
10/12 Lab 3
Project Kickoff
Sprint 1 Kickoff
Final Project Description distributed
Eight 10/14 Project Preproposal (due by 11:59pm 10/14)
Nine 10/23
10/26 Sprint Review 1
Sprint Review Rubric (used for grading)
Sprint 2 Kickoff
Ten 10/30 Sprint 1 Peer and Self Assessment
Eleven 11/6
11/9 Sprint Review 2 Sprint 3 Kickoff
Twelve 11/13 Sprint 2 Peer and Self Assessment
Fourteen 11/27
11/30 Sprint Review 3 - MVP drop-dead date Sprint 4 Kickoff
Fifteen 12/4 Sprint 3 Peer and Self Assessment
Sixteen 12/12 Sections 3&4 DEMO DAY! 12pm - 3pm
12/13 Sections 1&2 DEMO DAY! 8am - 11am
12/13 Websites Due by 11:59pm