MSOE NASA Robotic Mining Competition

Design of a mining robot to operate autonomously in a simulated lunar environment in competition with 50 other robots from around the country.

I was on the NASA robotic mining competition team at MSOE for four years and I performed many roles on the team including: Drivetrain Specialist, Treasurer, and Project Manager. As the project manager, for 2019 to current I am responsible for advising the team about important deadlines and improving communication between subteams. I have been capable of scheduling and enforcing a project timeline for the team.

As the drivetrain specialist for the team on my first year, I was the person who designed wheel covers for our robot's brushless hub motors. I designed them to be 3D printed for speed, cost, and weight reasons. When I was done iterative designing and printing the wheel covers, I also designed motor mounts for the wheels that could be printed due to time constraints.

I developed a MATLAB script that helped validate the work that some younger members of the team were doing. They did not know if their designs would fail under stress and they were unable to check because they haven't been educated in that topic yet. In an effort to teach some of what I know while helping them validate their designs, I made the code interactive with prompts, figures, and charts that explained what was going on. If their inputs made the chassis members come too close to the failure the code let them know.

I also picked the actuators that were incorporated into the final design of the robot. I needed to find the correct stoke length, feedback method, capacity, and power requirements. This along with balancing speed and cost made the selection a bit of a challenge, but I eventually found one that could be integrated into all 4 locations on the robot which reduced complexity and unique part count.