Scott Kevern

Capstone Mini Design Project


The objective of this project was to design, build, and test a successful device to navigate two directions along a course and launch tennis balls. The design was optimized for the following project constraints, in order to achieve the highest possible score in competiton:

  1. Device must occupy space of under 2’ x 2’ x 2’ prior to start of “play”
  2. Total parts cost must be less than $100
  3. Device must be autonomous and untethered
  4. Device must be safe for all operators and spectators

**Special thanks to my wonderful teammates Anna Bialosky, Brad Bruns, Melissa Krausnick, Grant Nair, and Ryan Bailey. The work shown on this page was a collective effort by all members.


Purpose and Objectives


Overall Purpose: Utilize existing engineering knowledge to develop a professional, highly technical design capable of exceeding the challenge requirements.

High-Level Strategy: Design and develop a device that consistently and accurately travels down a lane, launches tennis balls into the designated target zones, returns to a complete stop within the stopping zone, and maximizes points earned.

Objective Tree: The objective tree above was used to break down our high-level purpose into several manageable primary and sub-objectives. The two primary objectives were to perform well in the competition, and to implement a professional design that the team is proud to show off. These two primary objectives were then broken down into 5 sub-level objectives, for which metrics were generated to evaluate design options.

Pairwise Comparison: A pairwise comparison was performed in order to assign importances to the various objectives.

Functional Requirements: A functional tree was developed in order to address how each objective would be accomplished. Specific requirements relating to each function were also listed in this step.


Concept Generation


Each team member chose a different function and individually generated concepts for ways to implement these functions. I was assigned Electronics / Control Brainstorming, as shown above.


The group then reviewed these individual brainstorming notes and participated in a group brainstorming exercise. We chose the 6-3-5 method, where six people brainstorm three ideas each in a period of five minutes. The papers are then passed around the circle, and the next person builds off the ideas of the previous member.


Finally, a decision matrix and Go/Nogo chart were generated to determine our final design concept. The Go/Nogo chart ensured that each idea that came out of brainstorming was feasible and met our project requirements. The decision matrix quantitatively compared each potential design and selected a winner.


Design Analysis


Four different aspects of the design were analyzed for feasibility: Propulsion, Launching, Actuation Force, and Projectile Motion. The slides above give a brief overview of this process. All components passed analysis and were approved to move forward into the construction and testing processes.


Construction / Testing


Following the design analysis, the robot was constructed and tests were generated to evaluate it's functionality. The robot was tested in the areas of: travel speed, travel consistentcy, and launching. A test plan was generated and followed.


The statistical results of the testing process are shown in the slide below.


Competition & Presentation


In competition, the robot completed several scoring runs and made it to the semi-final round. Unfortunately, our team was eliminated in the semi-final when we travelled a few inches short of the shooting line.


Overall a successful, fun, and challenging project. Thanks again to my teammates:

  • Anna Bialosky
  • Brad Bruns
  • Melissa Krausnick
  • Grant Nair
  • Ryan Bailey