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Robotics Case Studies

Mechatronics Ping-Pong Project Challenges University Students

Macron Dynamics, Inc.

Application: Mechatronics university robotics team project

Industry: Education

Problem: Macron Dynamics regularly works with young student engineers and robotics teams at the university level to provide support and/or products at little to no cost. We believe in helping these budding engineers, and our application engineers enjoy jumping into fun and unique challenges typically found in educational and robotics competition applications.

Recently Macron was approached by a group of students from the Olin College of Engineering who had a Mechatronics assignment to create a robotic system that could competitively play ping-pong. The team brainstormed some ideas, and set out to design and build a system that will successfully achieve the project goals and demonstrate to thier professor, classmates and peers that their ping-pong playing robot would beat all comers.

The primary challenge was centered on the need to move the paddle and build a structure to support the Mechatronics.

Solution: MacBUILT PSC XY Gantry System with integrated Macron MPG gearboxes

Macron application engineers suggested using MacFRAME structure to surround the table and support the actuators and paddle control mechanisms. A Macron MacBUILT PSC XY Gantry system with integrated Macron MPG gearboxes provides fluid movement of the paddle.

System benefits: The result was a highly flexible and economical “bolt-on” system that provides accurate, programmable motion control of a rugged test rig.

Customer comments:

“I wanted to send you this footage of our final robot – as you can see, we were able to successfully couple our vision system to the X/Y gantry, so the robot can return shots pretty effectively! Thanks again for all your support this semester – there’s no way we could have gotten this to work without it!” –Nitin Kapania

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