Useless Box Progress (Design Fabrication Timeline)

So far on this project, I am on pace to finish at the same time as I originally planned to. However, from class I discovered that I should most likely finish much faster than I had planned and should be farther ahead than I am right now. Currently, I have not physically made any completed parts to my project. However, I have made a very basic pretotype. For some reason, even though I know that my project has a relatively simple functionality, I am very concerned about how well I will be able to make every little part of it down to the box. To overcome that fear and really get working on what needs to get done I created a simple version of the non-electrical aspects of my project using cardboard. This helped me realize that everything should fit together nicely and won’t be too difficult to make now that I have a good understanding of what I want it to look like.

By making this pretotype it also made me really think about how I want the final design to look like. For some reason I now have one of two aesthetics that I want to focus on moving forward that are completely opposite of each other. Both of them include utilizing a futuristic look. One is a sleek futuristic design that shows that the robot inside is a wealthy fellow who just wants to be alone. The other is more of a homeless robot who made this little box his home and is grouchy cause people keep bothering him. The second one reminds me in some ways of Oscar the grouch from sesame street. If I go with the first idea it will most likely have screws as it’s main way of fastening the box together, but if I go with the second one I would like to weld the box together, giving it more of a trashy look. If it is welded together however, that would mean that I would have to make anything that might change overtime (like a battery) easily accessible from the top or have a hole in it somewhere.

IMG_2516Figure 1- Little Box Man

There are a few other design changes that I am considering utilizing:

  • As Albert mentioned in my comments, it would be cool to have a squirt gun
  • What if different robots opened different sides of the box?
  • What if he really did have a secondary function that is still inherently useless, such as having an infrared led that turned on or off a television

I’m mainly thinking 1 or 3 would be more interesting

Additionally, the major electrical components have been purchased and are estimated to be here in the middle of spring break. If I work hard on my down time, the electrical and coding aspect of the project should be complete by the Wednesday after we get back from break.


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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Derek Sikora
    May 2, 2016 11:09 am

    I agree with Roshan with accounting for room the wiring is going to take up. Often times us ME’s focus so much on the mechanical design and CAD models we often leave out necessary wiring space needed for electrical components.

    The futuristic modern aesthetic would look very sleek, but an old wooden rugged look would look great to.. haha so indecisive. Either way applying a nice finish to the surface will add a nice touch.

  • Good idea starting with a pretotype! Space is a prime concern for your project. Make sure to think about how much space things like wires might take up. Hopefully you were able to make some progress with the coding and set-up over break. I’m really excited to see how this will turn out!

    If you do go with a welded box, you should consider using some kind of external power supply that way you don’t need to change batteries or anything like that. Definitely be careful with metal components though since if you have an exposed wire or something you could short your electronics, which wouldn’t be good.

    I think it would be awesome if you had some kind of switch that could activate other useless robot boxes. Similar to the TV button, but basically, triggering one robot would then cause other robots to trigger. Kind of like a Rube Goldberg machine with a bunch of useless boxes next to each other.

  • Meridith Richter
    March 21, 2016 12:02 am

    Sounds like you have a good hold on what you need to do and where to go from here – I think those extra functions you mention would definitely be a worthwhile investment into your project. I like the idea of the infrared TV remote-LED. Good luck!


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