For years, Virginia Western Community College Automated Manufacturing Instructor Dan Horine has been searching for more affordable equipment to teach mechatronics in high schools. By the end of the Mechatronics Community Exchange (MEC) call on Friday, October 27, he was persuaded that the Low Cost Mechatronics Trainer built by Anne Arundel Community College Associate Professor Tim Callinan could be what he's been seeking. "It's amazing," Horine said.
The trainer Callinan built for Team CollaborATE—an ATE project that involves Anne Arundel, College of Lake County, and Florida State College at Jacksonville—costs about $1,500 and can be used simultaneously by two students in a lab. The $7,000 cost of comparable commercial equipment has inhibited expansion of mechatronics programs at high schools and colleges. Team CollaborATE provides detailed instructions to build the trainer, which uses mechatronics' key electrical, mechanical and computer technologies.
Watch the video that Callinan narrates at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBGCg_1LQHw. Listen to the recording of the Skype group discussion about the trainer at https://ate.community/MCE, the Mechatronics Community Exchange microsite that ATE Central hosts for this group of ATE educators.
ATE Central's Microsite Service is free to all ATE centers and projects. Its drop-and-drag interface is easy to use and accommodates photos and multi-page documents. To begin the process of creating a microsite send an email to email@example.com.