NCSSM Durham

Robotics Design

Reach out to Joe LoBuglio (, NCSSM Dean of Engineering and Computer Science, to learn more about Robotics Design

About Robotics Design

Robotics design allows those who are doing independent design while on the FRC Team 900 robotics team, the Zebracorns, to have a more formalized design experience while getting academic credit for their work. There are weekly deliverables as we create an engineering design notebook over the course of the semester.

What would I do in the program?

Students will have a more extensive experience with the engineering design process, experimental design, data, and reporting on results.

How do I know this program is a good fit for me? 

You are actively on the team, able to manage  your time well, and eager to be responsible for a part or system of the competition robot.

What projects have past / current students worked on?

Design of an intake mechanism, design of a lifting arm, application of formalized failure analysis method.


Participate in a competitive robotics program sponsored by NCSSM


Spring Semester

(open to juniors and seniors)


J-Term &
One Semester

Course Information

Course # TBA, J-Term

Academic Year

Joe LoBuglio, NCSSM Dean of Engineering and Computer Science

Joe LoBuglio joined NCSSM in August of 2012, the same year the department of Engineering and Computer Science was created. He has contributed to shaping and developing courses covering a wide range of engineering and computer science topics and has helped the school reach the broader North Carolina community through his participation in Labs for Learning, the Summer Symposium, and the Accelerator program, as well as helping develop engineering curriculum as part of a Race to the Top initiative. He can sometimes be found after hours talking about rockets or robots with student teams. Now, as dean of the department, Joe works to promote engineering and computer science statewide. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University, a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Leland Stanford Junior University, and a doctorate in environmental sciences and engineering from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.

Course Descriptions

TBA Robotics J-Term

Prerequisite(s): TBA

Corequisite(s): None

Graduation Requirements Met: January Term

Schedule Requirements Met: January Term

Meeting Times: Two week intensive January Term

Class description coming soon!

EE4300 Topics In Engineering - Robotics Design

Prerequisite(s): Robotics Jterm

Corequisite(s): None

Graduation Requirements Met: One STEM credit OR One Computer Science / Engineering credit

Schedule Requirements Met: One of five courses required each semester

Meeting Times: Two periods per week

This course will present engineering topics that are not part of the regular offerings of the department of engineering and computer science and can focus on a variety of topics, with special emphasis to those involving engineering design. Robotics Design is for students who want to pursue a more formal design experience as part of NCSSM's FIRST Robotics Team, the Zebracorns. It is for students with the motivation, independence, and maturity necessary to conduct their own design projects in robotics, either related to software and control or mechanical design. Students can use industry-leading robotics software, the Robotics Operating System, to integrate sensor and machine learning systems required for robot control, build machine learning models, interfaces, or they can learn CAD (OnShape) to design a variety of mechanisms using motors, actuators, and pneumatics. Both the software and mechanical designs will undergo design reviews and can be tested under real world conditions, requiring sustained reliable operation, during the FIRST Robotics competition season. Final projects can include white papers and engineering design portfolios.

Click here to learn more about the Zebracorns, NCSSM's Robotics Team.