The Robotics club have been very busy this semester: settling into our lab workspace in the Design Centre and welcoming new members. We have run a range of successful workshops teaching members Arduino programming, CAD modelling skills, soldering, and 3D printing basics. Motor control and LED circuits were built, giving members practical experience with electronic components. On top of this, we have been making much-needed improvements to the lab by acquiring new computers and upgrading our current ones – giving members dedicated computers for extra-curricular robotics projects.

Arduino programming workshop

Workshop 4: Programming Arduinos

Thankfully, we’ve not been too busy to forget to enjoy ourselves! Great socials including movie and pizza nights, competitive socials with the Wii, and board games nights made this term brighter. We certainly plan on organising more of them next term!

One of our Anet A8 3D printers can now take an E3D Volcano extrusion nozzle with a diameter of 1.2mm. Originally the nozzle had a 0.4mm diameter, which is great for very detailed prints but makes printing larger models slow - by tripling the diameter, we have increased the printing speed by up to 60% making prototyping large parts much faster.

Each week our members have been developing ideas and prototyping components for this year’s Eurobot competition - “Atom factory”, where teams must program a robot to autonomously perform different tasks to gain points. One of the goals is to use colour detection to sort the creatively made-up elements Redinium, Blueium and Greenium. Another is to release and transport the special “Goldinium” which weighs a considerable 340g. Next semester we will be ordering the components to build the robots and start testing them in our replica arena!

The Club is actively involved in outreach activities. Our members ran events on multiple open days this year. We showcased the club’s achievements and previous robots which have been built to encourage a passion for robotics in parallel with the new Mechatronic and Robotic Engineering BEng degree. We also brought the Oculus Rift, our virtual reality (VR) headset to help engage people with the new technology. The Oculus helps us design new robots by allowing us to view them in 3D space before they are manufactured.

Next term we will focus on building the two competition robots for the national Eurobot finals. We will also continue with skills development for members and still have plenty of projects you can get involved with!

If you’re interested in keeping up to date with when and where the club meetings occur, visit our Facebook group for more information!