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Design and Manufacturing I

MIT Spring 2021

Tim the Enchanter
Robot for Class Competition

Over the semester, I designed, CADed, prototyped, and fabricated a robot to perform tasks on a gameboard in the class competition. I returned to MIT's campus this spring, but since classes were still virtual, I constructed my robot in my dorm room with hand tools instead of in a machine shop as the class is normally taught. I documented this design process in an engineering notebook (see video below). At the end of the semester, I competed in the class tournament and made it to the final day of the competition.


My robot's main feature, or most critical module (MCM), is a rack and pinion mechanism that raises components to perform tasks high on the competition gameboard. I created a gear train to drive the MCM so that the heavy torque servo would remain on the baseplate; this resulted in a low center of mass, preventing the robot from slipping or tipping when driving up the gameboard ramp.

I named my robot Tim the Enchanter to recall the Monty Python and the Holy Grail character dubbed Tim when the actor forgot the long and fancy name he was supposed to be called. The name works on more levels, too, since Tim is the name of MIT's mascot, and the robot's bumper looks like a "T."

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