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


These posts are archived
They were written with an old blogging platform, and are no longer really maintainable, however as they are linked too from various pages on the web - it seemed a good idea to try and archive them. I have written just enough code to get them to display - but there will probably be a few broken links and images.
Any major queries - feel free to contact me

Mechatronics Gold

4 / 2 / 2014

It was pretty exciting and got a fair-bit of media attention at the time, and while im not really one to brag about these things, this is a blog about my robotics and programming work.. so I suppose it's good to mention it!. There are a couple of articles that sum it up better than I can, so Ill link to them here: The Middlesex University publicitly blog [The Barnet Times - Before](/oldpostsarchive/0005/http://www.times-series.co.uk/news/10806727.Studentspr eparetotakepartinnationalskillscompetition/) [The Barnet Times - After](/oldpostsarchive/0005/http://www.times-series.co.uk/news/10818493.VIDEO_Studentswingoldin nationalskills_competition/)

So what is Mechatronics?

Simply put, Mechatronics (in terms of this competition) is a series of time- based challenges in building, programming and, 'fixing' electro-pneumatic systems. Too Much? Ok… So "Festo" is a company that makes pneumatic cylinders (among other things ). We have to assemble pnumatic circuits under time constraints. Then we have to program them. For our competition, we used the [Siemens s7-1200 plc](/oldpostsarchive/0005/http://www.automation.siemens.com/mcms/programmable-logic- controller/en/simatic-s7-controller/s7-1200/pages/default.aspx) Its a good system, although I found programming it REALLY fustrating… Not being able to get at the underlying code fustated me. For thoes unfamiliar with PLCs, They are programmed VERY DIFFERENTLY from regular microchips or computers. We program them in a archaic, outdated, and yet for some reason industry standard protocol known as ladder-logic. In theory, this is meant to make the systems safer, and I do understand that… but really. Why these things are not programmed in C I will never understand. Anyway, ladder-logic is a graphical programming system, and I may blog about it later in the year, as I have a project coming up that might involve trying to 'bypass' some of the ladder- logic functions, on the PLC. If I do, Ill blog about it, of course…

A little more vanity

And, Finally to end my ill-faited vanity rant, a wonderful video of me winning… for archive purposes… of course.

Once again, I appologise for the self-indulgent post… Ill try not to win anything else in the future ;)