During Lab 02a: External Sensors & System Analysis 1, there are a number of tasks that Team F hopes to complete. The first duty is to acquaint the team members with both the components of the external sensor hardware as well as the various techniques of troubleshooting involved with this project. It is imperative to complete the before mentioned task so that the team may become familiar with the equipment and the tools that will be used throughout the remainder of the laboratory setting. To complete these tasks, the team must construct the sample AEV design, install and test the reflectance sensors, and begin to carry out sensor function calls such as goToRelativePostition(m), goToAbsolutePosition(m), as well as previous commands learned in the week prior. Once these actions have been taken, the team will demonstrate the ability of their program to run to an instructional team member so that they may receive constructive feedback on their program thus far.
In the second part of the lab, Lab 02b: System Analysis 1: Propulsion Efficiency, the team members are to familiarize themselves with propulsion system efficiency and the various testing equipment used in regards to the wind tunnel. They will then ponder the connections between AEVs to objects found in the real world, only to further relate wind tunnel testing to the AEV. The importance of students carrying out these task lies with the determination of the propellor type and configuration. By doing so, the most energy efficient operation can be achieved in the team’s AEV design. By relating the lab concepts to the outside world, students will begin to grasp the importance of creating efficient vehicles for consumers around the globe. In order to complete the above tasks, team members will analyze results obtained from the wind tunnel testing, including percent power, current, thrust scale reading, and RPM. With this, the team will then be able to determine factors such as power input, power available, propulsion efficiency, and propeller advance ratio. Finally, the students will determine the most energy efficient setting, noting that a propulsion efficient AEV requires low amounts of power from the battery while providing maximum propulsion efficiency.
During Lab 01: Arduino Programming Basics, Team F took on several tasks in order to become familiar with the tools used to produce a functioning AEV. This lab introduced the corresponding hardware and software for the AEV, allowing the team to explore all aspects of the project. In relation to the hardware, steps were given to set up an apparatus to test the propellor functions. The AEV controller, propellers, motors, and Li-Po battery were assembled in preparation of the function code. The aforementioned software was developed through analysis of code descriptions which outlined desired motor functions. Once the developed code was compiled and loaded into the AEV, the team observed its execution and began to troubleshoot the program depending on undesirable actions.
The execution of this lab saw progression through team delegation. Team F divided itself into two parts, allowing two members to develop the code and two members to assemble the propellor apparatus. This system not only allowed all of the members to become familiar with their delegated tools first-hand, but allowed for a more efficient lab process. Once achieved, the combination of software and hardware gave Team F a stable foundation to begin preparing the programmed actions and physical framework for the final AEV system. This lab, essentially, gave the team an opportunity to learn not only what the dynamic of successful lab sessions looks like, but also discover what aspects of the AEV system they enjoy and/or what aspects they are having trouble comprehending for future reference.
- Identified how each digital command translated in the physical motors.
- Learned how to fix any coding problems that arose in program execution.
- Discovered that time can be saved and consensus achieved through delegation methods.
- Became familiar with efficiently executing step by step processes.
Stay tuned for more videos as Team F continues to work on the AEV throughout the semester!
Date: 17 – Feb – 2017
Time: 11:10 AM (Face-to-face)
Members Present: Olivia McNeil, Derek Gupta, Lauren Hole, Samantha Flora
Topics Discussed: Lab 5
Objective: The focus of Lab 5 was to learn about concept screening and concept scoring and how each can be used in AEV evaluation and decision-making regarding the AEV. The team was tasked to use these methods to understand what areas of the project need improvement and which ideas should be developed or discontinued..
- Concept Screening & Scoring (Olivia)
- Sheets for the activity were made with a google spreadsheet
- Evaluation was not finished in lab due to focusing on test running the AEV
- The team agreed to complete evaluation after lab
- Coding (Derek)
- The code used in previous labs for testing was used again with slight adjustments
- With the adjustment, the AEV should come back to the starting point
- Test Runs (All members)
- Observations were made for criteria listed in concept scoring/screening
- Tested to see if the code would bring the AEV back to the original starting point
- AEV’s return trip was inconsistent and code needs to be refined
- The R2 unit was used for one test at the end
- AEV did not come close enough to latch to the R2 unit
- no observations could be made about return behavior of AEV with R2 attached
- Finalize the design of AEV
- Adjusting the code so that it is compatible with the new AEV design
- Completing the PDR worksheet in preparation for the PDR presentation
- Creating the full code for the mission concept
The AEV was still not yet constructed into the team’s agreed concept design created at the end of Lab 3. The current design does not have a place to hold the arduino or battery, and the wiring is poorly managed. Group progress was hindered by having to spend time fashioning a new way to hold each part in place and rearranging the wires. The new design needs to be constructed because it has prebuilt holders for the parts and good wire management. This will save crucial time in lab.
During Lab 05, the team was able to examine the AEV designs based on its performance on the track. Using the screen and score decision charts, the team was able to select key features of the final AEV design, and prioritize what aspects of the AEV need to be agreed upon (cost, materials, weight, etc.) before their deadlines. During testing, the team ran a preliminary code created to travel a predetermined length of the track to the gate, pick up the R2D2, and return to the original position. The AEV ran smoothly on the track with the scenario code. When the code was activated, the AEV ran down the track without leaning to a particular side, even when making turns. It came to a smooth stop at the green gate and reversed immediately, returning to the starting point without any issue. The AEV stopped at the green gate approximately half a foot farther on the first run when compared to the second. Based on the performance of the sample AEV during the test, the team was able to make further progress on the screening and scoring tables.
Analyzing the screening and scoring sheets, the team favored all designs in terms of durability and maintenance mostly due to them being made by the same materials. Lauren’s design stood out for it’s projected balance and center-of-gravity which are key aspects of the AEV structure and performance. These ratings can be seen on the chart based on their numerical score from 1-5, 1 being poor and 5 being satisfactory. The limitations of the designs lied in blockage and environmental effect. Because each design has essentially the same parts, their configurations were hard to improve in terms of how the figures block other parts of the AEV.
The team was able to learn the importance of screening and scoring sheets to outline the future progress of the project. The tables made helped determine several final decisions on the AEV design, and also allowed the team to decide which aspects of the project were more important to finalize than others. The team is becoming more comfortable troubleshooting the code when setting up the Arduino, and altering the code to fit the criteria of the final code. In terms of track testing, the team was able to run the AEV on an Arduino code similar to that of the final project code, and got the opportunity to test with the R2D2 and monitor any changes necessary to the speed of the AEV to facilitate the extra weight.
During Lab 06, Team F will complete a number of necessary tasks in order to maintain the progress and upkeep required for the AEV design and coding process. The single-most important thing that must be completed is that a running code must be established so that the AEV completes its run the way specified in the manual. For this to happen, the team will need to perform a number of test runs to establish the errors in the code, and then delegate based on those observations. It is important that this be completed so that the team has their final code ready to go, and so that they know that the AEV is capable of completing its necessary route in a smooth fashion. Another thing that must be completed in this lab setting is the team deciding upon additional parts needed. For instance, the team has decided that additional propellers should be ordered so that the AEV is capable of providing more power en route. In this lab, the team will discuss the requirements for additional pieces to be 3D printed, based off of the rapid prototyping assignment, completed in Solidworks 05. From there, the team will be able to finalize Solidworks designs and begin the 3D printing process.
Date: 10 – Feb – 2017
Time: 11:10 AM (Face-to-face)
Members Present: Olivia McNeil, Derek Gupta, Lauren Hole, Samantha Flora
Topics Discussed: Lab 4
Objective: The focus of Lab 4 is to have a successful test run of the AEV and collect the EEPROM data stored in the arduino. Once obtained, the group needs to use Matlab and Excel to upload the data and convert it to physical parameters that are understandable. The team must also use the Design Analysis Tool and conduct a performance analysis.
- Track Run (all members)
- AEV ran smoothly on track and followed the code it was programmed with
- Several attempts were taken to make sure the code worked consistently
- Uploading data (all members)
- EEProm data was extracted from arduino using Matlab and put into an excel sheet
- Another Matlab program was used to put the data from the excel sheet into a Matlab workspace
- Performance Analysis
- The team decided to conduct the performance analysis and tasks using the Design Analysis Tool later in the week outside of lab
- Learn how to screen and score design concepts
- Use the sample AEV design to practice screen and scoring
- Develop a better code to suit the new AEV design created at the end of Lab 3
The team finished the lab tasks well before lab time expired. However, there was much more work to be done for the lab that could take place outside of lab. In future labs, the team should remain in lab to work on more tasks whether they can be completed outside of lab or not.
In Lab 05: Design Concepts: Screening and Scoring, Team F will begin to familiarize themselves with the techniques of the design decision making process as well as the structured method involved with these methods. Additionally, a sample code will be used to test the AEV on the track so that these methods may be utilized for a baseline reference. First, the team will build the AEV concept design that was decided upon during Lab 4. This AEV will need to be programmed to run on the straight track by using the coding guidelines provided in the lab manual. Then, criteria will be determined that the team believes will be beneficial in evaluating their design. These criteria, as well as the design concepts created in Lab 4, will be evaluated in the concept screening process in order to define the criteria that will play a key role in the final success of the AEV. It is imperative that the team complete these tasks during the allotted time period so that they may further grow upon their ideas that will be implemented in the final AEV design, as well as develop successful ways of making decisions. This skill will be helpful in further lab settings should the team find themselves in a stressful situation in need of a decision. Another reason the team must complete these tasks is because it will be helpful to determine what the most successful AEV configuration will be so that they may attempt to recreate it as best as possible.