A Low Cost Mechatronics Device for STEM Education

Larry Eugene Himes, Purdue University


All of the low-cost STEM education devices currently available are limited in function which limits learning. The motivation was to design and develop a device that will intrigue post-secondary students to learn STEM education concepts in a hands-on manner. The device needed to be open source so as to lower the cost to make it available to more students. And, making it feature rich was important for use with multiple projects the students may encounter or build themselves as they grow. The device has provided visual and physical feedback to students making the device more intriguing to use. Using the open-source C compiler reduced cost for students to use the device and taught them how to use an industry standard programming language. Students enjoyed the WAV file rendering for sound effects and LED lighting effects from the device. Most interviewees were intrigued by the device for use in their training facilities and classrooms. There are a couple of multi-axis controllers available but none with position feedback. Ethernet or Bluetooth interfacing was mentioned as a future feature and it was encouraged by nearly all who were interviewed.




Panigrahi, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Electrical engineering|Mechanical engineering|Nanotechnology

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