by Joe Spall.
Over the course of winter break, a few of our members participated in an internal Printed Circuit Board (PCB) Design Competition, organized by a few of our older electrical members. The goal was for members to get a chance to design a unique PCB for judging that they may not get the opportunity to make for one of our robots.
There were two categories for entry: beginner and advanced. The beginner category was targeted towards first and second year electrical members, or even non-electrical RoboJackets members, to learn new skills or reinforce recently learned skills from our training program. The advanced category was for more experienced members to push the limits of their design abilities. The beginner category was judged by 3rd and 4th year members, and the advanced category was overseen by RoboJackets alumni.
All PCBs had to be designed in the RoboJackets PCB CAD tool of choice, Autodesk EAGLE. The participants were given a rubric of evaluated design criteria such as feasibility, creativity, cost efficiency, and even RJ style guide compliance. They had from December 14th to January 14th to complete the design, along with generating a descriptive write up and Bill of Materials. The winner of each category would be rewarded with their PCB, assembled by our older electrical members.
The winner of the beginner category was Josiah Koh. He designed a board to control an 8x8x8 LED cube using a ESP32. The advanced category winner was Stephen Fazio. He designed a board that shoots string with motors as an all-in-one package.