Mechoptronics Online

What a crazy semester its been so far. Not only have classes gone online, but so have labs. One critical lab for every junior mechanical engineer is mechops. This year our professors had to completely switch the way the class runs to fit in an online setting. I still have my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning lectures where we learn about what is happening in the lab, then on Friday’s we debrief the last lab; however, labs have been very different. In lab it’s a cool mix of using things at home and accessing equipment virtually.

The way lab’s have switched is instead of being in the physical lab space in person, every engineer in the class was sent a lab kit at the beginning of the semester. This has allowed students to perform the labs without having to be in the physical lab space.

The first lab I had was focused on understanding uncertainty. In the lab, I simply had to measure a triangular prism with a few cut outs utilizing a caliper. The lab wasn’t very complex but required a lot of analysis to confirm if the measured values were the same as the specified values. It was pretty cool examining how much variation there can be in measured values from the specified machine values, but due to uncertainty, these values can still be the same.

One of my more recent labs we used a breadboard and did some basic circuit analysis. The special thing about this lab is that although I was unable to access the lab equipment in person, staff are at the physical lab space and we were able to connect to the equipment remotely from home. This allowed the lab to run as if we were in person, without having to be there!

Even though I am unable to work on labs in the physical workspace at school, I am still able to get the experience that every student should from Mechoptronics. I’ve learned a lot of core analysis techniques from lab already and am looking forward to learning more!

Steven Louis

Steven Louis

MAJOR: Mechanical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Coto de Caza, California PRONOUNS: he/him/his INSTA: @steven_louis13 At USC, I’m the President of 3D4E (3D Printing club) and part of the USC Surf Team. I’ve also worked in both automation and product design through summer internships. I love designing and working on at-home projects.