To prepare for competition, UC Louvain’s project became an integral part of the students training as engineers in electromechanical – mechatronics.
Five teams created mobile robots with objectives to fulfill as many missions as possible given by Eurobot officials.
Cédric Ponsard, mechatronics student explained, “this project is the largest and most important project in school. The project, with the aim to develop our robots from A to Z, took place over two academic terms and represented several hundred hours of work invested by each team member.”
This year’s theme was ‘The Cherry on the Cake’, a dozen pucks representing layers of cakes are placed on a 2m x 3m play area. The robot’s goal was to collect the most game pieces by bringing them to very specific areas of the field. Other constraints such as assembling cakes on several floors in a very specific order, while placing a cherry (represented by a red ball) above, allowed your team to score more points.
There were other ways to score points. The robot collected cherries placed on the play area and deposited them in a tank outside the area which estimated the total count. In each match, two teams competed on the same playing area. The robots needed to avoid their opponents in order not to cause penalties.
Throughout the project, students built their skills in in mechanics, electronics or computer science. Cédric went on to say, “after achieving the Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA) Exam certification, it was natural for all the teams to use SOLIDWORKS. It is a very powerful tool which allowed us to model each part and to be able to visualize them on a virtual assembly before being able to launch the manufacture of the robot.”
The teams also used advanced functions in SOLIDWORKS Simulation to carry out certain analyses. For example, students were able to analyze and adapt the flexibility of the chassis to avoid problems of hyperextension. In addition, SOLIDWORKS made it possible to generate all types of files necessary for the manufacture of parts with several processes such as 3D printing, laser cutting and 5-axis machining.
UC Louvain students received financial and materials support from manufacturers such as Alstom, Aisin, Aerospacelab, AGC and Euro Circuits. During this project, students were able to develop the job skills highly sought after by these high tech companies that combine creation of PCBs, the use of CAD tools, rapid prototyping, robot control, and team management.
Thank you Cédric and UC Louvain students for sharing your story. We wish you great success in the competition and being part of the SOLIDWORKS community.
Design well, Marie