Where do dreams of the 2,299 parts of PiE’s robotic kit go to materialize? It all happens in a mechanical machine shop in the basement of Etcheverry Hall. Since November of last year, PiE’s mechanical team has spent about 1-2 days a week, 3-4 hours a day in the machine shop. Manufacturing is a lengthy process, so mechanical designs, drawings, deadlines, and plans were all frozen as early as last October. The machine shop is a resource provided by UC Berkeley’s Mechanical Engineering Department.
“We are proud of the fact that we are able to take a resource that the university provides us and do the biggest production they’ve ever seen there. We’ve done on a per part basis this year more machining than any other mechanical engineering student group has ever done.”
- PiE Mechanical Lead Doug Hutchings
The base kit modules and its extensions that goes out to the high school teams have been completely redesigned to to reduce the barriers of entry to more creative design for students. The new kit is able to be assembled multiple different ways straight out of the box; this way, students can finish building the driving base sooner, allowing room and time for creative designs. There is a tremendous amount of functionality just waiting for students to pick and choose, and glue it together.