Engineering and Robotics

Electronic Engineering

Our Electronic Engineering outreach programs are offered at our Melbourne and Bendigo campuses. Students can build and keep their own robots and other electronic creations.

Guided tours of engineering and computer facilities are available on request.

VCE

Designing for 3D Printing

For: Year 11-12, Computer Science

Available: By arrangement

Duration: 1.5 hours

Cost: $20 per student

Maximum: 25 students

Location: Bendigo

The drop in price of home 3D printers and the availability of on-demand printing services has made additive manufacturing accessible for everyone. Isn’t it amazing that we can dream up almost any object and convert it into real object with problem-solving capabilities almost overnight? Even the most advanced technology however cannot print directly from your brain, it requires a design process.

Computer-aided design (CAD) uses software tools to create a virtual representation of an object that can then be printed. In this workshop students work in small teams with the free open-source software package OpenSCAD, using a programming-like interface rather than a General User Interface (GUI) to construct the virtual object.

Students are guided through the creation of a virtual goblet (with a 3D printed sample displayed), and then compete to create the best new soda bottle design. This activity includes a short presentation to highlight the use of CAD in industry, and increasingly for people at home.The drop in price of home 3D printers and the availability of on-demand printing services has made additive manufacturing accessible for everyone. Isn't it amazing that we can dream up almost any object and convert it into a real object with problem-solving capabilities almost overnight? Even the most advanced technology however cannot print directly from your brain, it requires a design process. Computer-aided design (CAD) is the process of using software tools to create a virtual representation of an object that can then be printed.

Students in this workshop will work in small teams with the free open-source software package OpenSCAD, using a programming-like interface to construct the virtual object rather than a General User Interface GUI. Students will be guided through the creation of a virtual goblet (with a 3D printed sample displayed), and then compete to create the best new soda bottle design. This activity includes a short presentation to highlight the use of CAD in industry, and increasingly for people at home.

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Middle years

Designing for 3D Printing

For: Year 9-10, General Science, Computer Science

Available: By arrangement

Duration: 1.5 hours

Cost: $20 per student

Maximum: 25 students

Location: Bendigo

The drop in price of home 3D printers and the availability of on-demand printing services has made additive manufacturing accessible for everyone. Isn't it amazing that we can dream up almost any object and convert it into a real object with problem-solving capabilities almost overnight? Even the most advanced technology however cannot print directly from your brain, it requires a design process.

Computer-aided design (CAD) is the process of using software tools to create a virtual representation of an object that can then be printed. In this workshop students work in small teams with the free open-source software package OpenSCAD, using a programming-like interface  rather than a General User Interface (GUI) to construct the virtual object.

Students are guided through the creation of a virtual goblet (with a 3D printed sample displayed), and then compete to create the best new soda bottle design. This activity includes a short presentation to highlight the use of CAD in industry, and increasingly for people at home.

Book this program

Bristlebot

For: Year 8 - 10 General Science, Robotics

Available: By arrangement

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: $25 per student

Maximum: 30 students

Location: Melbourne, Bendigo

Robotics is one of the fastest-growing and exciting fields of technological advance of our age, supporting and radically changing our lives. In this robotics workshop students build and calibrate their own robotic system.

The robot is a small light-seeking robot that uses differential vibration to glide across the table towards a light source. A short lecture explains the theory of operation and how various robotic components are utilised in industry to deliver low-cost, high precision and rapid solutions to problems faced by a 21st century society.

Students learn the fundamental aspects of robotics design with the sense-think-act method. They are instructed in recent ‘cutting edge’ student robotics and may later take their project robots home.

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Crashworthy Vehicle Design

For: Year 9 and 10 General Science

Available: By arrangement

Duration: 1.5 hours

Cost: $20 per student

Maximum: 25 students

Location: Melbourne, Bendigo

In this activity, students explore the ideas used to design cars that better protect drivers and passengers. Working in small groups, students design and construct a 'crumple zone' to be attached to the front of a miniature test car, aiming to minimise peak acceleration reached during a frontal crash. Students test their design by propelling the car into a 'crash barrier'. A computer records peak deceleration of the vehicle and compares this value with those used by car manufacturers and safety test authorities.

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Design an Economic Bridge

For: Year 8-10, General Science

Available: By arrangement

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: $20 per student

Maximum: 25 students

Location: Melbourne, Bendigo

Besides maintaining the safety and serviceability aspects of structures, the art of Civil Engineering typically embodies economy and efficiency. This workshop challenges students to apply knowledge of balancing forces to design an economic bridge structure. Working with user-friendly software, students experience some of the basic skills employed by structural engineers in designing the many commanding structures seen in the built environment.

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Wearable Technology - the New Accessories

For: Year 9 and 10, General Science

Available: By arrangement

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: $25 per student

Maximum: 25 students

Location: Melbourne

Along with the smart phones that are becoming almost an inseparable lifestyle accessory, consumers are rapidly incorporating all kinds of new Wearable Technology into their lives, either as accessories or as part of the materials used in clothing. In fact, wearables these days are found across all industries from professional sports to health care and fashion.

Using a small programmable microcontroller called a LilyPad Arduino, students in this workshop cut out their own wearable design from felt material and sew on a set of electronic modules that can be stitched together with conductive thread – creating new and innovative up-to-the-minute wearable accessories.

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Lasertag

LasertagFor: Years 8-10 General science

Available: By arrangement

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: $25 per student

Maximum: 30 students

Location: Melbourne, Bendigo

LaserTag is a worldwide game where each player has a laser zapper and has to try to zap the other players' zappers before being 'shot'. Students solder together their own laser zappers and unleash fun and mayhem as they battle it out to see who has the best aim and the fastest reactions. Students get to keep their zappers, so the laser battles may well continue after they leave La Trobe!

Program content can be adjusted to suit year level e.g. for more advanced students, a 15-minute mini-lecture explaining some of the theory behind how the zapper works, and how light is modulated using Infrared (IR) data packets.

Please note these devices are safe. Only Infrared (IR) LEDs are used for transmission, not lasers.

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Robots Rule!

StudentsFor: Years 8-10 General science, Robotics

Available: By arrangement

Duration: 1.5 hours

Cost: $20 per student

Maximum: 25 students

Location: Melbourne, Bendigo

Robotics is one of the fastest growing fields of engineering, radically changing the world we know. This workshop puts students in the driver’s seat. Students in small teams test an all-terrain, wireless-controlled robot platform, inspired by the Mars Rover ‘Curiosity’. The robot is fully manoeuvrable via a wireless interface on a PC.

Students use the controls to drive their teams’ Curiosity Bots through a series of obstacles, taking photos of their journey via a wireless camera along the way. As well as manoeuvring a robot and competing against other teams, students discover how robots are assembled and how they function. This activity illustrates how robots are revolutionising everything from cleaning systems to medical technologies.

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