The Mechatronics Master
As I mentioned in a post near the semester’s beginning, my Mechatronics class culminated in a final design project. I celebrated Rites of Spring (click here for Victoria’s article) by staying up very very late night after night in order to design, build, troubleshoot and complete my project, and the fruits of my labor (the system and the 10-page report) were presented and turned in on Tuesday and Monday respectively. For your reading and understanding enjoyment, here’s the first paragraph of my report:
“The initial project proposal for the Knock Box described it as an “Arduino-enabled Lockbox with Rhythmic Pattern Identification.” In short, the project focuses on the design and creation of a system able to discern a specific knocking pattern and unlock and open a functional storage box upon receiving the correct knocking input. By comparing the input knock to a pre-programmed combination of locks (with a certain margin of error to account for human error in the input), the Arduino brain of the Knock Box will determine whether the knock is acceptably similar to the “true” pattern, and will either accept the knock, unlocking the box and opening the top via DC motor, or reject the knock, instead lighting a de-motivating red LED to discourage snooping intruders from continuing to seek entry.”
I’ve said before that I think my Mechatronics kit is out to get me – this project was no exception. In fact, I’m sure my components rejoiced as they realized how complex the final result would be, and how many opportunities that would give their mischievous electronic selves to try my patience. Indeed, the extremely late nights came with a great deal of frustration and anger (troubleshooting circuits and code are just darn tedious), but, in the end, I was able to crown myself Mechatronics Master.