P08201: RP10 Drive Platform 2nd Generation


Table of Contents

P08201 Team Members

RP10 Team

RP10 Team

Name Discipline Role / Skills
Dan Lester IE Project Manager
Christopher Feuerstein EE Lead Engineer - Power, wiring, and battery monitoring
Jacob Hillmon EE Voltage Regulation, Signal Processing
Mike Schwec EE H-Bridge, Power and Signal Wiring, P08201 Website
Huan-Yu Chen ME ME Lead - Drive system design
Delnessaw M. Hirpa ME Platform Design
David Ng CE CE Lead - Microcontroller, Navigation
Oliver Yuen CE GUI, Wireless Communications

Administrative Information

Project Name
10 kg Payload Modular Robot
Project Number
Project 08201
Project Family
RP 10/100 (200)
Vehicle Systems Technology
Start Term
End Term
Faculty Guide
Dr. Wayne Walter
Faculty Consultant
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Erin Gillespie (emg3482@rit.edu)
Primary Customer
Dr. Hensel (ME Dept. Head), echeme@rit.edu
Secondary Customers
Dr. Crassidis (ME), Dr. Hu (CE), Dr. Yang (CE), Dr. Sahin (EE), and Dr. Walter (ME).
This project is supported by a gift from the Gleason Foundation to the mechanical engineering department at RIT.


Preliminary PRP (.pdf) (.doc)

The goal of this project is to construct a land-based robotic platform for the Vehicle Systems Technology Track. This 10 kg platform is just one of a family of scalable platforms ranging from 1kg to 100kg. This project focuses on improving previous projects from the 7200 family, such as the P07210 RP10, which fell short of expected outcomes. The platform is to be used in a variety of education, R & D, and outreach applications within and beyond the RIT KGCOE. Dresser Rand Corp. has provided funding for this project with the P08454 (Thruster) and P08456 (Lighting) teams. Long term motivations include educational and outreach applications (i.e. FIRST robotics competition), as well as increasing the reputation and visibility of the multi-disciplinary senior design program at RIT.

The establishment and clarification of customer needs was a crucial part of the concept development process. An initial set of customer needs was provided to the team. The needs were developed further by the team after meeting with the customer, assigning a hierarchal ranking to each specific need. The customer needs were then translated to an engineering voice stating what the team will attempt to achieve in order to satisfy each of customer needs. These high level customer specifications are listed below:

Senior Design I

All Senior Design I Deliverables

Concept Review

Detailed Design Review

Project Review

Senior Design II


Project Review

Subsystem Sites - Design Information






Future Recommendations

The testing and validation of the robotic platform proved to be sufficient when using wireless, manual control. Individual system testing has been completed, but as a whole, the robotic platform still requires implementation of autonomous navigation. With the current motor modules, there is insufficient space to fit the encoders to provide the navigation system. The team has decided to try integrating the motor modules of the RP1 Team (P08208) and is expected to meet all testing requirements.

This robot uses lead-acid batteries from a previous robot. These batteries are heavy and make up a large portion of the weight of this robot. The size and weight of the robot could be reduced by choosing an alternate battery type.

The PCBs could be reduced in size. This would slightly reduce the physical size of the electronics portion of the robot.

Mechanical tolerances need to be more precise and slop in the motor module assemblies needs to be removed in order to better control the robot's drivability and improve position accuracy under any kind of autonomous navigation. With the current design it is not easily drivable do to these issues.

The robot also struggles getting up to speed due to the gearing ratio used in the timing belt drive system. Currently a 1:2 ratio is used, a 1:1 ration would help improve acceleration and reduce the stresses on the entire motor module. This would also help with steering by minimizing steering drift while driving. A brake may be helpful to keep the motor module from spinning unintentionally, since the drive motor can actual force the module to spin (as if one were steering) due to the torque exerted on it.

Strengths of Current Designs

Improvement Areas

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