The robot arm that stacks Jenga for you

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Lightweight and Powerful

Armadillo uses carbon fiber and high-torque servos in a palletizing robot package to move quickly and pick up heavy objects.

Precision Pick and Place

Using a vacuum end effector, Armadillo can pick up and place objects quickly and precisely.

Jenga Recognition

Armadillo identifies Jenga blocks with computer vision before picking them up.

Technical Overview

Armadillo combines well developed mechanical, electrical, and firmware/software subsystem, integrated into a functioning robot.

Mechanical Subsystem

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Electrical Subsystem

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Firmware Subsystem

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Software Subsystem

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Item Unit Price Quantity Subtotal Total After Tax
Carbon Fiber Rods $13.95 1 $13.95 $14.82
PVC Pipe $5.56 1 $5.56 $5.91
PVC Angled Elbow $1.24 2 $2.48 $2.64
PVC Cap $0.75 1 $0.75 $0.80
Particle Board $8.97 2 $17.94 $19.06
Large Stepper Motor $20.99 1 $20.99 $22.30
Home Depot Bolts $14.73 various $14.73 $14.73
M3 Bearings $9.99 1 $9.99 $10.61
Timing Belts $7.99 1 $7.99 $8.49
Pneumatic Tubing $14.99 1 $14.99 $15.93
Limit Switches $8.99 1 $8.99 $9.55
Solenoid $16.89 1 $16.89 $17.95
Suction Cups $9.49 1 $9.49 $10.08
Spray Paint $5.46 2 $10.92 $11.60
Small Stepper Motors (FREE) $12.99 2 $25.98 $25.98
Stepper Drivers (FREE) $11.99 1 $11.99 $12.74
PLA (FREE) $25.99/kg 700g $18.20 $18.20
Eucaboard (FREE) $16.98 1 $16.98 $16.98
Corrugated Cable Sheath (FREE) $9.99/25ft 1ft $0.40 $0.40
Power Supply (FREE) $20.99 1 $20.99 $20.99
M3 Hardware (FREE) $26.99 1 $26.99 $26.99
Total Spent $177.21

The Team


Tigey Jewell-Alibhai

Mechanical Design

Tigey works wonders with all things mechanical. He built a working prototype arm from scratch in the first three days of the project, so that the software team would have something to experiment with. He can often be found prowling the academic center with screwdriver in hand and safety glasses affixed to his forehead. He is a devoted member of Olin’s Design Build Fly aeronautics team and is experimenting with winding carbon fiber to make his own extra-lightweight components. He likes to collect articles of clothing with the word “Tiger” on them, and we had to talk him out of painting orange stripes on the robot.


Nathan Faber

Software Design

On the first week, Nathan said “let there be code”. At his words, robot arm to world coordinate conversions appeared in github and jenga block detection algorithms sprang to life. On the second week, Nathan said “let the robot be tuned” and the first prototype was put in motion. On the third week, Nathan said “let the robot stack jenga” but unfortunately the electrical and mechanical systems were not yet in place. He then spent the next 3 weeks making bad jokes and helping out the MechEs, then with the words “this code will work”, the robot stacked the jenga tower.


Ian Eykamp

Electrical and Software

Ian is our soft-spoken, beanie-wearing, juggling robot-whisperer. He is often found writing code that nobody asked for that does amazing things. Just ask him about making our robot do the Macarena–he has the code. Ian is a jack of all trades and has stepped up to any challenges we have had. Ian makes a wonderful addition to our team, despite the fact that he plugged our power in backwards three times in one day (don’t worry, we only fried one stepper driver). In his free time, he enjoys practicing karate and dancing the Macarena with the robot.


Sam Kaplan

Electrical Design

Sam knows his electronics. Whether he’s combining systems onto perfboard or troubleshooting a grounding issue, Sam never stops working until everything is just right. Some say he’s still sitting in MAC309 making other teams listen to our vacuum pump rattling on the table. Toward the beginning of the project, Sam advocated for a Doc Ock-style backpack-mounted robot, but when he realized coordinate systems would be a challenge, he agreed that Jenga would be pretty cool too. Because Sam is a stoic guy, we can never quite tell whether he’s annoyed by our existence or just glad the robot is working as intended.


Zachary Sherman

Mechanical Design

Zach is one of our Onshape experts and part of our mechanical engineering team. He is the champion of taking an idea and figuring out how to make it polished (read more black spray paint!) Zach is known for his practicality, level headedness and his sympathy laughs at Nathan’s particularly bad jokes. Zach is one of our resident night owls, often found painting or sending messages to the group in the hours the rest of us are sleeping!