About three weeks ago, we began our design course about making an origami robot. This course mainly contains the knowledge on using Arduino’s steering engines and sensors. We benefit from this project in the perspectives of teamworking, programming and so on.
The first week was all about paper folding. Each and every student in the group must have created more than one origami structures. Mine looks like sand clock but actually it was a kind of animal. This structure was really complex for people like me. I spent the whole class on it and finally asked for help from others. A friend of mine was so quickly that he completed three robots while others only finished one or two. However, quantity had nothing to do with quality. None of these three robots met the requirement of the lecturer because they were manufactured in a rough way. Certainly, our group has students intelligent classmates as well. The snakes, owls and rabbits they made are really lifelike. There is no doubt that our group decided to use their work for further study. Every person has their weak points as well as strong points. This is the most valuable take-home I got from this week’s project.
The second week was about adding steering engines onto the paper robots. We divided our groups into two small ones. One focused on the snake and the other focused on the rabbit. We added six and five engines respectively and each engine had its own function. Our task was to design twenty five motions for each origami robot. All classmates seemed to rack their brains to figure out what movements does a certain animal have. Fortunately, snake is an easy one. We developed movements such as wriggle, swim, tail ringing and so on. Most of them were based on the actual motion of the snake in the real life. However, some of them came up with our members’ brilliant imagination. To realize all these movements was not an easy tasks. Although the movements were mostly similar and symmetric, a tiny change of the design usually leads to a totally different code. We applied some shortcuts like speed up and down to show different rate of motion to reduce our work. This method worked because the instructor agreed with us that not all movements of animals are in the same speed. The PowerPoint slides were simple but it told the story clearly. The video did the same thing as well. All in all, this week’s project process was a huge succus.
Last weekend was Chinese traditional Dragon Boat Festival. Students had rest and travelled to other parts of China. But my groupmates were so devoted to the project that they seldom celebrated the holiday. We are all looking forwards to the showcase of robots although we know that our group’s work still has many shortcomings waiting for us to develop. Let’s cut the cackle here because I have to head to the classroom to help with the poster as well as the half-finished robot.