MAE Students Showcase "AUTOBOTS" for San Diego

posted Dec 21, 2009, 6:10 PM by Karl Wendt
This year the MAE seniors decided to create AUTOBOTS. Each project uses a computer and an array of sensors to respond to its enviroment in unique and creative ways. All of the projects are computer controlled and programmed by the students. There are five autonomous underwater projects, a CNC milling machine, two computer controlled RC cars and a helicopter. The students have taken each project through a comprehensive development process based on our Critical Project Sections document. The course is based on  6 A's of Project Based Learning. Check out the AUTOBOTS projects in detail at the 1st Semester Senior Projects Page.


Double click the video and select HQ on YouTube to see the video in high resolution.
A HQ video DVD complete with detailed student explainations of each project is available for $10. All proceeds from the sale of these videos go to support the MAE program. You tube limits length to 10 minutes and size to 2GB and as a result this video is really just a sneak preview of the whole experience.
For more information please contact: 
The Autobots Expo highlight video begins by showing team Rescue Heli (Jake Neighbors, Luke Hatchbatch, Kelvin Tu and Eric Harmatz) launching crashing and then relaunching their computer stabilized helicopter.

Then team SMART Car (Aaron Rucinski, Jesus Cisneros, Eric Watts, Nic Nash) demonstrated the cars ability to create letters on the pavement in spray chalk.

Jarrod's CAR (Jarrod Johnson) then sweeps into action running a pre-programmed course and firing its optical Gatling gun.

Then team, HYDRO, (Kevin Palma and Issac Lira) show us how their digital compass causes leds to light up indicating the direction the AUV is traveling.

Next, team Beta Bot (Shelma Soto, Ali Sandoval, Josh Jarboe) shows how they create a computer controlled symbolically emotive fish. The Beta Bot indicated sadness by turning blue and sinking to the bottom of the tank and when it was disturbed it would throw a tantrum by turning red and cycling its thrusters back and fourth.

After that, team Hydro Phoenix II also known as Little Sea, (Sophie Santiago, Stephanie Luna)  kicked into automatic action with its bright led arrays and swiveling thrusters in the testing tank.

Then Elmo (Elmo Arteaga) showed us how to create a computer controlled device capable of transferring power wirelessly. His project solved a key problem in the development of an underwater AUV recharging station initially proposed by MIT.

Then team Poseidon (Paul Santillian and Jacob Harris) took center stage with their innovative three thruster configuration and a craft constantly adjusts to always drive true north.

Finishing out the water crafts team Hydro-Star (Kate Lee Newcomb and KJ Edwards) demonstrates a computer controlled active buoyancy system, a hydrophone system, and impact sensors.

Finally, our student created CNC mill  affectionately referred to as CUPCAKE, by team members Ariel Swingley and Diana Barlow makes quick work of a sheet of MDF.