Our Robot

After the BEST Competition for this year was revealed, our students were very excited to begin coming up with ideas and prototypes. We followed our ten step design process in order to design and build a robot that followed all the regulations but still fulfilled the objective of the game.

Design Process:

1.) Identify the Problem
2.) Generate Specifications
3.) Specification Ranking
4.) Generate Concept
5.) Prototyping

6.) Choose Concept
7.) Detailed Design
8.) Design Presentation
9.) Manufacturing and Implementation
10.) Test and Analysis

Step 1:

When the game objective was revealed to the students, ideas were flying around the room. The team members were trying to decide whether we were going to create an arm, basket, or other sort of mechanism to fulfill the game’s tasks. We also had to decide whether our main concentration was going to be on the roaches, flies, or termites.

Step 2:

After identifying the problem, we decided that our final decision was to create both an arm and a basket. We wanted to build a mechanism that would somehow act as both; be an arm, yet be a basket. However, we needed to ensure that we would have a way to allow the bugs to enter and exit.

Step 3:

Our specifications were concrete: it is crucial to manipulate the flies, as they are worth the most points and are easier to attain. Therefore, we needed both a basket and an arm.

Step 4:

To allow students to express their ideas, each team member was given paper and an empty white erase board to fill with concepts and strategies.

Step 5:

Members began to make prototypes, and real size concepts out of cardboard, tape, and PVC. By creating a proportionally accurate model, we avoided possible problems with size constraints in the future.

Step 6:

We had a total of ten member created models. The entire team was given an opportunity to consider every prototype and vote on a final design.

Step 7:

A team of 5 members were given the task to add details to the final concept and draft it using Autodesk Inventor Professional 2010.

Step 8:

When a detailed and finalized design was in place, we demonstrated our ideas to the voluntary engineers from GE Energy. They liked what we had created and gave us a few pointers. We modified our design to fulfill their concerns.

Step 9

Team KAOS members were ecstatic to finally be able to begin constructing a ‘ROBUST’ design. They were given the Kit of Parts and were told to use the materials wisely. Along the way, our members realized that our design needed to be changed. Several concepts were not as important as originally believed. Two weeks and six robots later, our team had a final design. We officially established our completion by painting the robot the colors of our school: black and yellow.

Step 10:

Thankfully, we were able to complete our previous steps in time to have a week to practice. Team drivers developed concept strategies that they believed were beneficial to the game and the amount of time provided.