Authored by Youbin P (Fr)
As a rookie, I had no clue what was going to happen after the kick off--frankly, I thought we would just start building after tossing some ideas here and there.
Needless to say, the process was not that simple. After the kickoff, the game manual was everyone’s best friend. Everyone in the team read the rules until they could answer questions about the game without referring back to the book or hesitating. These people were very serious to say the least.
As a group, we wrote down the list of subsystems that was needed: gear intake, ball intake, climber, shooter, and drivetrain. Then we split into smaller groups to discuss and come up with ideas for the subsystems. Each group was required to come up with at least one, and we wrote them down on individual post-its.
Once we were done, it was placed upon the board under the corresponding subsystem. We had clear categories and fresh ideas underneath, all waiting to be sorted out. After that, we went through all the ideas and discussed the possibilities of implementing each one.
When the discussion was over, the members signed up for the IPT they wanted to work on. Everyone was assigned to an IPT, and we began our trade study to narrow down the few prototypes to build and test. Before the trade study, we came up with categories to fill out and research for, such as: speed, mass, complexity, etc. After all the categories were up on the whiteboard, we proceeded with the research. For instance, I was in the climber IPT; at the time, we settled with compression and “wrap” climber after completing the study.
We also had to present these findings to the team and explain the reasoning for the chosen prototype. Once that was done, it was time to actually build a prototype. For prototyping, we used the best ranked one from the study. Using the sticky notes from the very meeting, we expanded on the idea itself and created a solid design. When everything was set, the building began--we gathered materials and tools. Conferred what each member of the IPT was doing and got to work. This happened with all the subsystems, and everyday, we had a closing and opening meeting to update each other. We set deadlines and benchmark for our work, and it still gets updated daily by the leader of each IPT.
Beside the individual IPT leaders, there are four additional leaders who are in charge of larger projects and several areas rather than a particular subsystem.
With all that implemented, the team was able to sufficiently prototype and test out the different options available. We are now close to finishing up our prototypes and finalizing our robot.