MAKING THE MOST OF IT

Sandra (LEFT) and DIT Design Studio Admin Assistant Aziza (LEFT)

My name is Sandra Sommi, I am a third year student studying a Bachelor of Computer Engineering at the Dar es salaam Institute of Technology. My team and I were assigned the task of designing an automatic unmanned robotic system by our instructor, Dr. Simbeye as part of our course – Robotics and Intelligent Systems

The primary motive behind this project is to design and fabricate an automatic robotic system that will operate automatically without any human intervention. The original idea was to implement an automatic robotic arm that will perform pick and place functionality. But later as a group we came up with the idea that the robotic system would comprise a moving vehicle with a robotic arm on top. Thus when the car senses an obstacle the vehicle will stop and the robotic arm will pick and place the obstacle out of the way.

During the making of the project there were several activities that we performed at the DIT Design Studio. These include, the making of the robot arm (which was printed using the 3D printers present at the studio), making of the robot car body (we used the white and blue acrylic present at the studio and laser cut the body into the desired shape using the studio laser cutter). Assembly of the complete automated robotic system was done at the studio with the help of few components borrowed from the studio such as glue, screws, a multimeter and so on.

^The completed arm on the mobile robotic mini car

One of the greatest challenges that my team and I faced during the implementation of this project was financial challenge. This was because most of the tools used were expensive. Lucky for us, we were able to overcome this challenge by making use of the resources that are available at the Design Studio. We were able to learn many things during the implementation of this project such as drilling, fabrication, Computer Aided Drawing and soldering. The most exciting thing we learned was how to combine various techniques such as soldering, fabrication and so many others so as to come up with the final product.

For now the project has been submitted to our supervisor Dr.Simbeye. Our plans for the project at later time is to add a GPS feature to the existing system.

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