Problem statement and requirements.

Problem Statement

Our main objective is to design a new robotics kit for the sophomore-level engineering class (EGR 286), providing a better learning experience that will prepare students for future classes and careers. EGR 286 is a class in which all engineering majors work together to design, build, and program robots to perform assigned tasks. Currently the class is using the LEGO Mindstorm robotic kits, which are over 10 years old and have annual repair and maintenance costs around $3,000 – $4,500. The current kits include LEGO pieces which restrict the level of mechanical innovation that the engineering students can achieve. Due to the LEGO Mindstorm kits not being available in the near future, the fact that these kits do not provide an adequate learning opportunity, and the desire to provide a kit more challenging to sophomore-level engineering students, a request has been made to design a custom robotics set. This custom robotics set needs to consist of a customizable controller, adequate inputs and outputs, and a versatile building platform. Also, this kit will be designed using standard components, making maintenance and repairs easy and cheap. The benefits that will result from this project are a robotics kit that can not only be used to replace the existing LEGO kits, but can also be marketed and sold to other educational institutions.


EGR 286 Robotics Team will provide:

  • A new robotics kit for the sophomore-level engineering class.
  • A kit will be designed using standard components, making maintenance and repairs easy and cheap.
  • EGR 286 Robotics Team will include a subsection of Mechanical Engineers (ME).

CEFNS will provide:

  • Assistance in the form of advice and resources to EGR 286 Robotics Team.
  • Clear goals for the final design.


  1. Mechanical Requirements:
    1. Kit must weigh less than 35lbs and is desired to fit within existing lockers.
    2. Most parts should be reusable for minimum of 1-2 semesters.
    3. Challenging for sophomore level students.
  2. Electrical Requirements:
    1. The deliverable must contain a microcontroller, sensors, and motors.
    2. The microcontroller is desired to have more inputs and outputs than the existing kit, but must have a minimum of three of each.
    3. Use a low amount of power.
    4. Must have an LCD screen.
    5. Multiple types of sensors and motors.
  3. Testing Requirements:
    1. A mock demonstration will be provided with the new robotics kit, to evaluate design.
    2. The outputs to motors will need to be tested to provide performance capabilities of motors.
    3. Sensors need to be tested for compatibility with the microcontroller.
    4. The entire kit needs to be tested with sophomore level students to verify difficulty level.
  4. General Requirements:
    1. Adhere to the assigned budget
    2. Withstand fall of 3.5 – 4.0 ft.
    3. Deliver documentation for the final kit: a user’s manual and suggested maintenance.