Week 3

This week, we made 5 robots that would assist in helping people after a major earthquake.

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineers apply the principles of engineering, physics, and materials science to design, analyze, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems.  They design, produce, and operate machinery.  Mechanical engineers use core science principles along with tools like computer-aided design to design and analyze manufacturing plants, industrial equipment, and machinery.

Computer Science

Computer Science is the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications.  It is the study of automating algorithmic processes that scale.  Computer scientists study the feasibility, structure, expression, and mechanization of algorithms that underlie the representation, acquisition, processing, storage, and access to information.  They specialize in the theory of computation and the design of computational systems.

VEX Robot

The VEX robot's job is to clear debris away from the entrance to a building after an earthquake.  We had to build and program a robot that senses the debris and uses a claw to pick it up and carry it away.  Building this robot went smoothly except when building the arm.  We had to redesign the arm three times.  The first time, it needed to be redesigned because the arm wasn't positioned correctly.  The second time, we didn't think through the whole design and had a problem with the gears getting in the way of the claw working.  The third time, we realized that we didn't meet the requirement for hinges on the claw.

Arduino Redbot

After the VEX robot cleans away the debris, the Arduino's job is to lead those who can walk out of the building.  It follows a predetermined path to the exit.  For this robot, it was already built for us so all we had to do was program it.  Some difficulties we had when programming this robot was making it follow the line and making it sound a noise while following the line.  We managed to get past these problems, however, and now, the robot works fine.


The VEX IQ goes in, following the scribbler's line, and brings a bottler of water to the survivor.  We had to build and program this robot.  This robot was built fairly easily but we ran into coding problems.  We could only get the robot to follow a black line instead of the colored line.  This means that the robot won't be able to follow our Scribbler's line back to the survivor and won't be able to bring water to them.


Once the iRobot reaches the survivor, the scribbler gets off its back and follows the iRobot to the exit.  It marks a path as it goes so that the survivor can be found and saved.  We had to program our robot to do this and we even made it play the USC fight song.  Overall, programming this robot was easy.  However, we had problems getting the scribbler to follow the iRobot.  Our iRobot took a long time to program and because of this, we didn't have enough time to get the scribbler to properly follow the iRobot.


The iRobot searches the room for survivors after the earthquake. It will go in carrying the Scribbler on its back and once it has found someone, the scribbler will get off of its back and the iRobot will lead the way back with the scribbler following it. This robot was built for us, so all we had to do was program it. We encountered many difficulties such as the code not uploading to the robot correctly and not understanding coding in "C."

Published on February 20th, 2018

Last updated on June 18th, 2022