6.S080: Mechanical Invention through Computation

Profs. Erik Demaine, Chuck Hoberman, Daniela Rus

Spring 2013

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Problem Sets / Assignments

Assignments will be posted here roughly weekly, with announcements to the class mailing list. They will generally be due at the beginning of class the Monday after they are assigned.

You are welcome to collaborate on assignments, but your work must be your own, and your problem sets must list your collaborators. Please hand in a physical copy of your design or print-out of any software code.

The lectures will explain methods for designing various types of mechanisms. To fulfill the assigned problems, students will use these methods to create examples and variations on these mechanism typologies.

All assignments may be fulfilled by producing either physical or virtual versions of mechanisms (student's choice). For those making physical pieces, emphasis should be on demonstrating aspects of mechanical action and transformable behavior. For those making virtual pieces (software), emphasis should be on demonstrating how computation can facilitate parametric design exploration of the mechanical typology.

Assignment Topics (follow link for detailed assignment):

  1. Background Slides (Submit to TA by 3pm on February 18th), Concatenated Slide Submissions
  2. Expanding Polygon Linkages (Submit documentation to TA by 2pm on February 25th)
  3. Expanding Structures (Submit slides to TA by 12 pm on March 4th)
  4. Project Proposal Ideas (Submit slides to TA by 12 pm on March 11th), Proposal Ideas Slide Submissions
  5. Project Pre-Proposals (Submit slides to TA by 12 pm on March 18th)
  6. Project Proposals (Submit slides to TA by 12 pm on April 1st)
  7. Project Meetings (April 8th)
  9. Second Project Meetings (April 29th)
  10. Project Documentation (Submit to TA by 12pm on May 6th)
  11. Final Presentation Schedule and Important Reminders


See also the final project assignment.


To reach all staff members use the list: 6S080-staff@csail.mit.edu
To reach the entire class including staff: 6S080-class@csail.mit.edu
To reach the TA use: andy@csail.mit.edu