Course Descriptions
MECH_ENG 472-1: Robot Design Studio (EE 372-1)



Students must commit to both quarters of the course.  If a student drops the course after the first quarter, he/she will not receive credit for the first quarter.

This is a two-quarter hands-on sequence in which students work in a team in a professional environment to design and build a robust, elegant, and sophisticated electromechanical system. Students are required to take both quarters. Credit for the first quarter will be given upon completion of the second quarter.

Who Takes It

This course should be taken by undergraduate or graduate students who have appropriate background and are passionate about becoming an electromechanical designer. For ME seniors, this two-course sequence satisfies the ME capstone design requirement.

While there are no specific prerequisites, eligibility depends on a demonstrated background and capability in one or more of the following areas:  CAD, rapid prototyping, machining, embedded systems and microcontrollers, software design, electronics and PCB design, real-time control, sensors, and actuators.  Examples of this background could be experience in ME 333 Introduction to Mechatronics, ME 433 Advanced Mechatronics, ME 495 Embedded Systems in Robotics, ME 410/CS 310/410 Quadrotor Design and Control, ME 340-1 and 340-2 Computer Integrated Manufacturing, ME 449 Robotic Manipulation, EE 326/327 Electronic Systems Design, EE 347 Microprocessor Systems Project, and CS 301 Introduction to Robotics Laboratory; significant involvement in design and building of a car or rocket for competition; expertise in the topic areas through extracurricular projects; and others.

Registration is by permission only.  An application form will be circulated during pre-registration.

Further Details

Interdisciplinary teams of students will take a set of specifications for a robot system and an example rough initial design and, by the end of two quarters, produce a robust and elegant working prototype along with documentation. Students will undertake all aspects of the electromechanical design process: CAD modeling, sourcing and acquiring components, machining and outsourcing machining, motor and transmission selection, sensor selection, cabling/wiring, power electronics, PCB design, microcontroller/microcomputer selection, control system architecture, software architecture, and real-time control. This course is distinguished by the demand for a robust, near-product-ready final design designed and built by a multi-disciplined team of engineers. Example projects previous years include a hopping robot, a gymnast robot, and robots for providing haptic feedback.


The course will be led by Prof. Colgate. Other faculty will serve as consultants and guest lecturers.

If you are not sure you have the right background or if you have any further questions about the class, contact Prof. Colgate directly at