ME444 in the Purdue Exponent

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Santa and his elves might want to consult with Karthik Ramani and his engineering students if they need help keeping up with Christmas toy requests.

Purdue University students taking Ramani’s computer-aided design course have created a wide array of toys and will show them off during a “Toy A-Fair” on Saturday (Dec. 10).

“The computer-aided design course at Purdue has an 18-year history,” said Ramani, the Donald W. Feddersen Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “Today, the course balances hands-on design, creativity and innovation. Toy design provides a scaffold for students to learn the design process holistically. The course inspires students to enjoy and have fun while learning.”

Eighteen toys will be displayed during the Toy A-Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Room 1130 of the Mechanical Engineering Building’s Gatewood Wing. The event is open to the public.

Designs include:

* A handheld Turtle Tank action figure leading the Animechs: a group of mechanized animals created to defend the human race from evil.

* A toy space shuttle designed for 10-14 year-olds to engage children who are interested in space, discovery and exploration.

* A Magnetic Express levitating bullet train with one freight car.

* A Storybook Zombie who interacts by moving his ears and rotating his arms. He is standing on a book and if you push the button he just may tell you something.

* A Zombie Graveyard designed to combine the motion control functionality of the iPad with the style of a classic arcade shooter. Users control a laser gun with the iPad while trying to defeat waves of zombies of varying strength.

* An Ultimate Flying Battle Craft, a hovercraft toy designed for 5-10 year-olds. The toy hovers and shoots darts.

* A Mach Blaster handheld toy gun having a design influenced by jet airplanes.

“Innovation has been the key to America’s success for more than a century and is now recognized as the single most important ingredient in any modern economy,” Ramani said. “There has never been a clearer imperative to improve the innovative and entrepreneurial mindset of U.S. college graduates, particularly in engineering.”

Writer: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709,