Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Karthik Ramani

Committee Member 1

Rebecca Krammer

Committee Member 2

Tahira Reid


The development of a system is informed from design factors in order to success- fully support the intended usability from the perceived affordances [1]. The theory of ‘Human Centered Design’ champions that these factors be derived from the user itself. It is based on exploiting these affordances that the boundary of technology is pushed to sometimes invent new methods or sometimes approach a problem from newer perspectives. This thesis is an example where we inform our design rationales from children in order to develop a gender neutral modular robotic toy kit.