From Hilary Term onwards, Oxford Robotic Institute (ORI) is running an extra-curricular course for Engineering Science undergraduates to design and manufacture a 2D pen plotter.
The “First Year Plotter Challenge” is an optional six-week activity that offers an opportunity to get hands-on experience of the entire engineering process: from CAD design, 3D printing, and electronic and mechanical assembly, to programming an Arduino using G-Code, the language used for 3D printers.
At the end of the course, the students will go home with a compact, and simple A4 sized pen plotter, and the means to program it and control it ‘at home’. It is hoped that giving them hands-on experience will motivate them to learn more about programming, control, and robotics in general.
The project incorporates many different aspects of what we do at ORI. From physical manufacturing and electrical assembly to Python programming and 3D printing.The hope is that undergraduates walk away with the satisfaction of completing a difficult project from scratch, as well as a greater appreciation of the range of capabilities and research interests at ORI.