Bugbots! a multidisciplinary design project for engineering students

Kathryn Hollar, Fan Lau, Linda Head, Kauser Jahan, Eric Constans, Paris Von Lockette, Bernard Pietrucha

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Rowan University's College of Engineering stresses the importance of a well-rounded undergraduate engineering curriculum, incorporating relevant aspects of all engineering fields as well as promoting teamwork through multidisciplinary group projects. This paper describes a semester-long sophomore-level multidisciplinary engineering design course in which student teams design and create a microbial fuel cell (MFC) that powers a Lego® Mindstorms robot. The project combines mechanical, chemical, civil & environmental, and electrical & computer engineering skills. Students determine how changing certain fuel cell parameters and conditions affect voltage and current, then construct a Lego® Mindstorms robot that will derive its energy from a MFC stack. The project reinforces many concepts from courses early in the curriculum, such as chemistry, biology, and physics. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the project, contribution and cooperation from all students are important factors in the success of their designs. This paper discusses the course structure, experimental and design aspects of the project, and student response to the project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13621-13627
Number of pages7
JournalASEE Annual Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2002
Event2002 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Vive L'ingenieur - Montreal, Que., Canada
Duration: Jun 16 2002Jun 19 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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