This page was last modified on Wed 22 Mar 1995

Week 1

Introduction to the mechatronics web

A definition of mechatronics

The kit of parts

Parts available for the first design project are

The competition

Although the competition is intended to be fun, it will have a secondary purpose of investigating ways of increasing the access of a person in a wheelchair. Such examples could be as simple as crossing a door step, or going down a country path. A solution based on the Penn walking chair would also be able to open the door for the person, a solution based on the JPL micro rover could be designed to reduce the risk of tipping backwards while climbing a step.


Design and Construct a multi-legged walking wheelchair capable of competing in the great walking chair race. The walking wheel chair must be capable of

The chasm width is the greater of 2cm and 1.5 x the diameter of any wheels. The curb height is the greater of 1 cm and the diameter of any wheels.

A 30 cm dash event may also be heldo for comparison with the stiquito events of 1993/4


  1. The vehicles must have a discernible seat for an appropriately scaled human.
  2. The vehicle must be autonomous and self contained. Programs for each event can be down loaded before the event.
  3. Wheels are optional.
  4. If wheels are used they can be powered for the step up and the chasm events. For the 30 cm dash sufficient power can be provided to the wheels to lock them but all forward motion must be a result of moving the linkage in the body or legs
  5. The curb climb and the chasm crossing must not use forward momentum to achieve
  6. The events will be on a cork surface.
  7. Other rules as I think of them
  8. Next year there will be a length limitiation

Week 2

If you drop out of this course can you notify first the rest of your team and second me!

Week 4

Walking wheelchair competitions

The report for this phase of the course is due a week after the events.

This report should

Week 5 Product disections

Reverse Engineer a commercial disk drive and identify the design and manufacturing methods used in the electrical and mechanical components.

Disections will be in groups of 2 and 15% of the final marks will be given based on the report on this exercise.


  1. Understand the electrical, mechanical and computing elements that function together to make a magnetic disc drive work.
  2. Identify the mechanisms that allow cost effective manufacture of a hard disc.

    During the product disection you should

    1. Separate the disc drive into sub assemblies
    2. Be able to `spin up' the disc platter and, on some drives, move the head assembly.
    3. Identify the components of the control system that allows allows the head to be placed exactly over the area storing the data.

      This report should include

      • Include a diagram/ photo of the cadaver at the various stages of disection.
      • Document the interesting features of the design and manufacture of this product.

      Mechatronic Design (CISC667) 1995

      William Harwin

      This page was last modified on Wed 22 Mar 1995