20 Dec 2017 - Mateo Atwi
Junior year of my time at Georgia Tech in 2017, I took an infamous class called ME 2110 (Creative Decisions and Design). This class is infamous because it culminates in a competition between the teams of 3 or 4. Each team builds and programs a mechatronics robot to compete in an arena with 3 other teams. There are several different ways to gain or lose points, and the objective is to get the highest score. I highlight this as one of my projects because it was formative for my engineering experience. My team placed in the top 20 of seventy teams. This class was one of funnest and toughest classes I’ve taken.
Skills Learned and Used
- Mechanical Design
- Technical writing
Here is an explanitory video from Georgia Tech. All the teams are given a mechatronics kit including some pneumatic valves, motors, solenoids, and various other objects like mouse traps. Throughout the semester we prototype and build a final machine to compete with. Meanwhile, we write a bunch of technical peices and present our work. We learn about project timelines and design processes. This is one of the most intense classes at Georgia Tech. It is very easy to get sucked into the competition.
Rather than explain to you in depth. I think the following video of the competition explains the work we did. In this round of the competition we accomplished our highest point total and did a few tasks that other groups did not do like grabbing the character in the center.
I absolutely loved this project. It was a lot of fun. I did all the coding. I helped build, CAD, and write technical papers. I worked really hard, and I think this was one of the most valuable projects I’ve ever done. Teamwork was essential. No one person could do as much as the team of four could. The almost weekly papers made sure that we were documenting and writing down information about our project constantly. There was a lot of pressure, but that’s what formed us as a group.
This project pushes students to try their best. I left the final competition knowing that I’d given it my all. I don’t always want that experience, but I know that I will devliver under pressure. Additionally, during seasons like this I typically learn a lot of skills. I find that I am more creative when I am under pressure to create solutions quickly. This was not an exception. Now I know that it is valuable to put myself into situations where I need to act quickly to create solutions. Teamwork was an essential part of this process. A good team allows each member to be more effective. There is a caviat here. Depending on the team, good leadership makes a big difference. In this project, my teams never established good leadership. I think leadership allows each project to be more sreamlined.