Calum Knott

I'm currently employed by Didactic Services, a FESTO Partner, as a Senior Applications Engineer.
I'm currently the WorldSkillsUK Mechatronics Training Manager
I'm also a Visiting Lecturer at Middlesex University
Occasionally I can be persuaded to Freelance!

Contact Me

Latest Posts

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Designing a Mechatronic Popcorn MPS


For the 2019 WorldSkills UK Mechatronic Team Selection competition in March, I wanted to design a modular production line that — that produced popcorn (and drinks)

The System needed to be capable of dispensing & weighing popcorn kernals, transferring them into a popcorn popper, and then popping them

The system (as seen in the GIF) was comprised of 5 tasks, spread over 3 days (14 hours build time)

The competitors build up the system, starting with the simplest system, and then moving on to the more complex features as the days progress.

The system ejects a pot from a magazine, checks if it is the right way up usign an analog IR height sensor, then transfers it to the filling area, on station 2. It then either fills with popcorn, or liquid, depending on the choice selected from the HMI. — The the pot is transfered back to the 1st station, and then onto the 3rd station. At this point the system allows you to pump the popcorn down to the popcorn popper, and then the popcorn popper is turned on using a networked plug socket (240v)

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Building a better tracking system


About two years ago I started my role as the Mechatronics Training Manager for Worldskills UK

The role involves training and planning training sessions, and competitions with a group of competitors (6 max), with the ultimate goal of selecting a team of two to progress to international competition.

As part of my role, it is increasingly important to log the progress, times, and scores of various tasks, to be able to benchmark competitors against each other. This, coupled with a need to collect reviews and provide feedback to each of the competitors, and provide an opportunity to share files with competitors, led me to the task of building a dedicated tracking and metrics site.

I embarked to build the site, and, due to my choice of stack, decided to name it “nodeSkills”

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WorldSkills Kazan 2019


Nearly 2 years ago I was in AbuDhabi for the 2017 WorldSkills Competition

Here we are again with the 2019 final approaching. I wish all the best to the whole team, and to Jack and Danny — the UK’s Mechatronics Team.

Jack and Danny have been training hard for the last 3 years for their place in team. They successfully gained a well-deserved BRONZE medal in Euroskills Budapest 2018 — You can see a reaction interview with them here.

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Fast Track their Future

Fast Track their Future


Fast Track their Future

– register your learners for WorldSkills UK Competitions by 7 April!

WorldSkills UK Competitions are now open until 7 April, and you can register your learners to take part here. The competitions enable learners to build on their knowledge and develop their technical and personal skills. For employers and training providers, the competitions are a mechanism to benchmark their activity, raising standards in training programmes across the UK.

The Apprenticeship Levy can be used to support your learners’ involvement in WorldSkills UK Competitions. Participation in the Competitions can be used to contribute to the 20% off the job training requirement for apprentices. Find out more here For the last 65 years, WorldSkills UK Competitions have been helping young people from all backgrounds to Go Further, Faster, in their careers, find out more at Hwww.worldskillsuk.or #SkillsCompetitions #GoFurtherFaster @WorldSkillsUK

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Not every Gist needs a Blog Post…

Not every Gist needs a Blog Post…


And not every blog post needs a gist.. but sometimes the two go hand in hand.

Today I am teaching a class on the use of the Gazebo Simulator in ROS — While I have spent quite some time poking around in ROS, I haven’t used the simulator much before this week, when coincidently, I have been using it heavily in my ongoing MSc research — More on that to come —

I spent some time poking around on the internet for some updated teaching material… some of the old slides were feeling a little dated, and it seemed like a good idea to see if the Jackal Simulator could be installed under Kinetic, as Indigo is feeling very 2015 as of late

I stumbled across a gist written just a few months ago, that seemed to be exactly what i needed. But sometimes, a little update is needed.

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WorldSkills AbuDhabi 2017


Looking back on this event, it seems an awfully long time ago.

Extra info……

A second photo:

WorldSkills AbuDhabi 2017 was originally published in Calumk on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Every blog needs a test post…


Hello, Im new to medium, which is after all, a good place to be. My new blog and website will be coming soon, and Medium will be the source of the blogs.

Hopefully this will encourage me to start writing a little more frequently!

No blog post would be complete without an image of some code, so here is a snippet from my latest project nodeSkills-v

Every blog needs a test post… was originally published in Calumk on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Automaton, & On, & On...

WorldSkillsUK Tracking

My BEng Dissertation

Educational robotics kit
More info