myRIO Robotics Kit
The National Instruments myRIO is a microelectronics device aimed at enabling university students to easily construct high level engineering projects. As part of my research at the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach during the summer of 2016, I led a team in the design of a robotics kit aimed at lowering the barrier to entry to using the myRIO in university classrooms.
The development of the kit involved specking out a building system, creating a custom Printed Circuit Board and other custom laser-cut/3D printed mounts. An extruded aluminum build system called MakerBeam was selected as the foundation of the kit. This kit was designed to be all-encompassing such that students could quickly and easily build simple robots using the myRIO. However, it was also designed with the idea of students manufacturing their own custom parts to create more complicated builds. The complete kit contents is shown in the graphic below.
Fifteen kits were produced, and have been in use for Tufts University Robotics classes ever since. Links to example projects students were able to create can be accessed using the links below: