Slot-Bots @ The University of Michigan

Our Design & Manufacturing 1 students in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Michigan last semester were engaged with the task of designing remote controlled robotic devices to move ping pong balls in a deep slot of an arena from their side to their opponent’s side. … sign-expo/

Although the students were required to do mechanical design, the control system was provided as a module that they could velcro to their vehicles and plug into. Additionally, the “arena” had motors attached to it that they could drive a rotational device via a timing belt.

The motor controllers inside the control module were a pair of Pololu’s T-Rex JR’s (

The one main problem students ran into was that they were tearing up the gearboxes by the end of the competition, so in future competition’s we will probably provide various Pololu Plastic Gearmotors ( instead because of the internal slip clutches that prevent damage due to over torque and higher mechanical efficiency then the Tamiya gearboxes.

If you want more details, let me know. I thought you all might be interested; if I had a “Pololu Inside” sticker, it would have been plastered all over the place. :slight_smile:

John J. Baker
Design & Systems Engineer
Mechanical Engineering @ The University of Michigan

1 Like

Hi, John.

Wow, thanks for sharing all those details. I’m happy to hear about how you used so many of our products together. Looks like we might need to consider making a 4-channel TReX!

Are the teams required to have some kind of team web page as part of their course? If so, can you let us know where they are, and if not, can you consider making that part of your course?

- Jan