The Michigan Engineer News Center

Learning to work like engineers

While the task is simple — build a device to sort balls by color — the lessons go much deeper.| Short Read

Michigan Engineering undergraduate students in ME350 work together in teams to design, build, and test four bar linkage devices.  The course pushes the students and teams to employ model-based design and engineering in their projects.  ME350 has an emphasis on mechatronics, technology that combines electronics and mechanical engineering, because several devices these days contain more mechatronic devices than in the past.  

Students are tasked with building a device that collects balls from various chutes and sorts them based on color.  The teams each designed their mechanisms using computer aided design.  Then, they produce accurate engineering drawings to hand off to other teams for machining.  Once these parts are in hand, the teams assemble their devices and program them to perform an assigned sorting challenge.

Michigan has been pioneering this type of hands-on education. That’s also something we would like to keep pushing and be a leader in this area of applied engineering.

David Remy

Support Mechanical Engineering at Michigan
Scientist works with robot in the lab

If you’re inspired by the research in this story and share our passion for leading this field – help strengthen our efforts.


Levi Hutmacher
Multimedia Content Producer

Michigan Engineering

(734) 647-7085

3214 SI-North

The outside of the Ford Robotics building

U-Michigan, Ford open world-class robotics complex

The facility will accelerate the future of advanced and more equitable robotics and mobility | Medium Read