3D-Printed Robotic Arm, Autonomous Roving Robot Wins Element14 Design Challenge

element14, the world’s largest online engineering community, in collaboration with Mathworks and element14-logo-300x77Adafruit, has selected the winner in its Teacher’s Pet Students’ Robotics Challenge. Kit Fuderich, an upper/middle school teacher at Lancaster Country Day School in Lancaster, Penn., took the top prize for his 3D-printed, motor-controlled loader arm that interacts with an autonomous roving robot.

The challenge was designed to help engage educators and students in robotics, and it asked educators to design robotic devices using products from element14, Raspberry Pi and Adafruit. Competitors were provided with an extensive Raspberry Pi 2 or Arduino kit, as well as access to Mathworks tools including MATLAB, Simulink and relevant toolboxes for programming various components in the hardware kit.

“Kit had a great combination of elements and a fun end result showcasing many educational elements of the kit,” said Becky Stern, director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. “Kit went above and beyond with multiple interacting systems, and his final project is quite impressive.”

Kit’s build includes a 3D-printed robotic arm and four servo motors controlled by an Arduino Due. As the roving robot approaches the loader arm, the arm gathers rice cereal from a bowl and dumps it into a container on top of the robot. See a video of the build in action here.

For winning the challenge, Lancaster Country Day School will receive a CEL Robox 3D printer, valued at approximately $1,100, courtesy of element14, Mathworks and Adafruit. Kit plans to share his knowledge and lessons from the project with students this year, and perhaps even build something similar with them.

“We were excited to be a part of element14’s Teacher’s Pet Students’ Robotics Challenge,” said Madhu Govindarajan, partner manager at MathWorks. “All of the challengers produced creative and useful projects, and we thank them for their hard work over the last several months.”

To learn more about Kit’s project and those of the other challengers, visit element14’s STEM Academy area which offers blogs, videos and images of each participant’s build.

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