Help with the home; Students create low-cost robot vacuum

vacuumAs believers in open source development, Fleming students Aaron Junkin, Joe Kennedy, and Devon Silhanek intend to upload their designs and plans they used to create and build a low cost robotic vacuum.

“We took it upon ourselves to adjust the parameters of the project and make it a low cost robot vacuum compared to the ones currently available on the market,” said Devon. “We are all supporters of the open source community and will proudly be uploading our schematics and code to others that would wish to do this project as well. It definitely has some differences from commercially available vacuum robots, however if you are someone learning about electronics or programming then it will be available online as a fun do-it-yourself project, which is functional and useful!”

The students, in the Computer Engineering Technology program, have spent their sixth semester working on the applied project. The Applied Projects course, offered within certain programs in the School of Business and the School of Trades and Technology, pairs up groups of students with clients or sponsors to come up with a solution to a real-world problem. For this project, Devon, Aaron and Joe worked with Fleming faculty member Mamdouh Mina.

The students say they chose to work on this particular project as it incorporated different concepts from their various classes.

“The project used a combination of microcontrollers, electronics, and programming, along with the need to use troubleshooting and ingenuity in order to complete this project – it provided the greatest appeal to all of our members,” said Aaron.

Despite some setbacks over the course of the semester – such as electronic failures – the group said they were able to use time management skills to shift the focus to other tasks while waiting for new components to come in.

“We also spent a lot of time on our planning stage which helped ensure fewer problems throughout our project. Before ordering components we ensured our core concepts and circuit diagrams were feasible to ensure we were successful in the long run,” said Devon.

Team work also played a vital role in ensuring the project’s completion.

“Working as a team allowed us to split up the tasks involved in the development and assembly of the robot to make the process more efficient. It also helped to have group discussions on next steps or problems that we ran into to get a different perspective and ultimately come to a collective solution,” said Joe.

The students’ sponsor, Mamdouh, was supportive of their decisions and gave them freedom to explore within the project’s parameters, they said.

“Although our project was internal, we feel that working on a project such as ours has greatly helped our problem-solving in a team environment as well as independently,” said Devon. “From this project we learned a lot about structured team projects as well as expanded on the knowledge we learned in our previous semesters at Fleming.”

Students in the School of Business and School of Trades and Technology within the Project Management, Marketing, Computer Engineering Technology and Wireless Information Networking programs will present their applied projects at the Fleming College Innovation and Technology Showcase in Partnership with Bell on Thursday, April 6 at the Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre.

The projects are judged by members of the local business, tech and non-profit communities and prizes are awarded.

All are welcome to attend the Showcase and view the students’ projects. The Showcase will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Media, for more information please contact:
Laura Copeland
Communications Officer
laura.copeland@flemingcollege.ca
705.749.5530 x 1370