Bomb Disarming Robot (BDR)

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RFP*: Bomb Disarming Robot (BDR)

* RFP is an acronym for Request For Proposal. Internationally, RFPs are called ITTs, an acronym for Invitation To Tender governmental agencies use RFPs to solicit new business.

This project reflects real life scenarios; the robot must be able to handle minor imperfections in the course.

Note: You should only use the materials contained in the Price list for Lego parts for robot projects. If you want to use other parts, get permission from your faculty member to do so, and also to determine the cost of the parts you want to use that are not in this price list.

Introduction and Overview

The United States Department of Homeland Security, was established in 2002 by an executive order issued by President George W. Bush. The department is an amalgamation of 22 federal agencies all dedicated in various ways to the protection of our country. The Department has three primary missions:

  1. To prevent terrorist attacks within the United States,
  2. To reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism, and
  3. To minimize the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters.

Among its many directives, the Department considers it a top priority to reduce the threat imposed by explosive devices to both our citizens and our first responders. As recent events have made clear, the potential danger to innocents is real and is one we must contend with. A strategic component of the Department's 10-point plan to deal with explosives that threaten the citizenry is a fully autonomous robot designed to navigate to an explosive device and disarm it. Such a machine would not only reduce the threat to bystanders, but would protect the brave men and women who have dedicated their lives to our safety.

This bomb disarming robot, code-named BDR, should be nimble and effective. Your design must be reliable and cost-effective, as the Department envisions the deployment of a large number of BDRs throughout the country. The winning proposal must demonstrate the dependability of your design. Innovation in your approach to the problem will be rewarded.

Specifications

Design a robot using Lego Digital Designer as your primary design tool. Your team must build a model of your design using the materials provided. A Mindstorms program that will direct the robot's movements must be created. A cost estimate of the robot's components must be provided. All revisions to the original design must be recorded and explained. This includes technical design drawings, as well as cost estimates. All revisions to the Mindstorms program must be recorded and explained.

The BDR must be able to move autonomously over a pre-selected route, disarm a bomb, avoiding any decoy bombs, and, for extra credit, disable and retrieve triangulation devices, returning them to the start point. The BDR must not touch the decoy bombs even after they disarm the bomb. The robot must fit in a start area that is 25cm by 25cm by 20cm high (see Figure 1). These specifications must be met for final commissioning.

The robot program may not be altered or switched during any part of the mission. Likewise, the robot must be fully autonomous, and therefore cannot be touched by any person during testing. Please refer to the course syllabus for all due dates.

Route Choices

Figure 1: BDR navigation field
Note: The picture above contains one representation of this project description.
Actual course may be different from the one pictured above, but similar in objective.
Figure 2: Alternate view of BDR navigation field
Note: The picture above contains one representation of this project description.
Actual course may be different from the one pictured above, but similar in objective.

Route 1: The robot must follow the black line, traverse the black tunnel, disarm the bomb, and return to the start area (see Figures 1 and 2).

Route 2: The robot must navigate the perimeter of the course, proceed to the bomb's location, disarm it, and return to the start area (see Figures 1 and 2).

Figure 3: Your robot must press this disarm switch
Figure 4: Your robot must avoid these decoy bombs

Please Note: Projectile (catapult, slingshot) designs are not allowed; your robot must travel to the bomb in order to disarm it.

There are two versions of the BDR course. Your Professor or TA will assign to you either BDR Day (white) or BDR Night (black). BDR Day and BDR Night are similar, but not exactly the same.

For extra credit, the robot can disable the triangulation system by disabling at least two devices (knocking ping pong balls off of their tubes). The devices are located on the roof of the complex. One of these triangulation devices may be retrieved and returned to the start area for additional extra credit. A picture showing the placement of the devices is shown below in Figure 5:

Figure 5: BDR bomb placement
Note: The picture above contains one representation of this project description.
Actual course may be different from the one pictured above, but similar in objective.

If you would like to design your own route, you may ask your instructor for permission.

Creativity and innovation are always rewarded. Original designs will receive extra credit.

Microsoft Project

A time management plan using Microsoft Project (MS Project) must be created. You can learn Microsoft Project by doing the MS Project Skill Builder. This plan must include all tasks related to the project. The MS Project schedule should include the following:

  • Minimum of 20 tasks.
  • Milestones should be clearly indicated on the project plan (duration of zero days).
  • Each task must include the person responsible for completing the task (resource names).
  • Use the Copy Picture function to include the project plan in the presentations. DO NOT take a screenshot.
  • Gantt chart must be displayed alongside the tasks list (fit onto one slide).
  • Gantt chart must clearly show a progress line.
  • Clearly state during the presentation whether the project is on time, behind schedule or ahead of schedule

For help in planning the project, review the page called How to plan the schedule and calculate costs for a project.

Drawings

All drawings and sketches should be made using Lego Digital Designer.

Create four drawings of the robot: front, top, most detailed side, and a drawing of the gear trains. Sensors, motors, and gears must be included in each drawing. If the robot does not use any gears, make sure to explicitly state that during the presentations.

Each revision of the design must be documented and all changes must be presented during Milestone presentations.

Figure 6: Sample isometric image from Lego Digital Designer (without part numbers)

Model

You must build a scale model (1:1) of your design. The following materials will be provided:

  1. Mindstorms kit
  2. One NXT/EV3
  3. Sensors
  4. Motors

The finished BDR must fit inside a 25cm × 25cm × 20cm high. Any other components that the BDR uses must also fit in the same box.

Additional materials can be supplied by your TA.

Figure 7: Photographs of some past robot models constructed from provided materials

Cost Estimate

Once a robot design is complete, a cost estimate must be generated that specifies the cost of all the materials and labor required for the construction of the design. Tabulate this cost information clearly in an Excel spreadsheet, using the materials cost list provided. Help in calculating the cost is available by reviewing How to plan the schedule and calculate costs for a project. The costs for the parts can be found on the Price list for Lego parts for robot projects.

Note: You should only use the materials contained in the Price list for Lego parts for robot projects. If you want to use other parts, get permission from your faculty member to do so, and also to determine the cost of the parts you want to use that are not in this price list.

Create a cost estimate on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The cost estimate should include the following:

  • Labor cost breakdown with hours and rates
  • Consolidate low-cost pieces: axles, beams, bricks, bushings, connectors, gears, plates
  • Itemize high-cost pieces: controllers (NXT/EV3), sensors
  • No decimal places; this is an estimate after all. Round appropriately
  • Total cost must be shown in the bottom right corner

Milestones and Benchmarks

As you work on your project, you will be required to present periodic reports on your progress. We call these Milestones. All the items assigned in each Milestone are called deliverables. These deliverables often consist of a combination of written submissions, presentations, and demonstrations.

Milestone 1

Prepare a preliminary sketch of the design, a cost estimate, and an MS Project plan.

Look Ahead: What tasks are planned between now and Milestone 2?

See How To Give a Milestone Presentation for the format of a Milestone presentation.

Milestone 1 Deliverables:

  • Presentation:
    • Project description
    • Design approach
    • Mission statement
    • Preliminary CAD drawing of robot
    • Cost estimate
    • MS Project schedule
    • Progress update: current state of the project

Benchmark Assessment A

Benchmark assessments evaluate the progress of the project. Benchmark Assessment A is due at the end of Model Shop Session 1. There are penalties for not completing on time. Refer to the EG1003 Grading Policy for more information.

To pass, the design must complete all of the following:

  • Robot traverses two hills


Milestone 2

Using Lego Digital Designer, prepare four views of the latest design: front, top, most detailed side, and an isometric drawing. Also, create a drawing of the gear trains. Complete the latest Mindstorms program and the latest MS Project plan reflecting any schedule changes. Finally, calculate a revised cost estimate.

Look Ahead: What tasks are planned between now and Milestone 3?

See How To Give a Milestone Presentation for the format of a Milestone presentation.

Milestone 2 Deliverables:

  • Presentation:
    • Project description
    • Design approach
    • Design changes since Milestone 1
    • Mission statement
    • CAD drawings: top, front, most detailed side, isometric, gear train
    • Mindstorms program
    • Cost estimate (previous and current). What changes were made?
    • MS Project schedule (previous and current). What changes were made?
    • Progress update: current state of the project (time, budget, etc.)

Benchmark Assessment B

Benchmark Assessment B is due at the end of Model Shop Session 2. There are penalties for not completing on time. Refer to the EG1003 Grading Policy for more information.

To pass, the design must complete all of the following:

  • Disarm bomb (press doorbell)

Milestone 3

Using Lego Digital Designer, prepare four views of the latest design: front, top, most detailed side, and an isometric drawing. Also, provide a drawing of the gear trains. Complete the latest Mindstorms program and the latest MS Project plan reflecting any schedule changes. Finally, calculate a revised cost estimate.

Look ahead: What tasks are planned between now and the completion of the project?

See How To Give a Milestone Presentation for the format of a Milestone presentation.

Milestone 3 Deliverables:

  • Presentation:
    • Project description
    • Design approach
    • Design changes since Milestone 2
    • Mission statement
    • CAD drawings: top, front, most detailed side, isometric, gear train
    • Mindstorms program
    • Cost estimate (previous and current). What changes were made?
    • MS Project schedule (previous and current). What changes were made?
    • Progress update: current state of the project (time, budget, etc.)

Commissioning

Refer to the syllabus for the commissioning deadline. There are penalties for not completing on time. Refer to the EG1003 Grading Policy for more information.

To pass, the design must complete all of the following:

  • Return to base after disarming bomb

Final Presentation

The final presentation will be a technical briefing, similar to the milestones, but also serves as a sales presentation explaining why your company should be selected instead of the competition. Please include the following:

  • Problem statement
  • Solution overview
  • Company description and qualifications
  • Drawings
  • Mindstorms program
  • Cost estimate
  • Microsoft Project schedule
  • Video demonstration
  • Why should the company be awarded this contract?

Submission

Beginning Fall 2016, students will be able to submit online. Please visit https://eg.poly.edu/finalSLDP.php for login information and the link to the Project Submission form.

Students must be logged into the account provided at https://eg.poly.edu/finalSLDP.php. Submitting with your NYU account or any other account will generate an error.

Submissions may be edited at any time before the deadline. Please note that submission times are based on the last submission. Submissions that qualify for Early Submission will lose the Early Submission Extra Credit if the submission is edited after the Early Submission deadline.

Please note the deliverables for this project are as follows. If any of the following items are omitted, you will be penalized. Be sure to click SUBMIT at the bottom of the form.

  • Project deliverables:
    • Final presentation
    • Cover page and table of contents
    • Final Mindstorms program
    • Initial sketch
    • All the drawings of your design (initial through final)
    • Video
    • Final MS Project Schedule
    • Final cost estimate
    • Resume(s) (No fictitious resumes will be accepted.)

Early Acceptance

If you submit your project one week early, you are eligible for a bonus that will be added to your final semester-long project grade. You must submit all deliverables one week before the submission deadline (see syllabus for exact date). To submit early, all required information on the form titled Project Submission Form, found on the EG web site, must be approved, accepted, and signed by a TA. The deliverables received early are the ones you will use in your presentation. No adjustments to the deliverables submitted will be accepted.

Late Delivery

Late delivery is not allowed. If you do not commission by the deadline set forth in the syllabus, you will not receive full credit for commissioning. In order to receive partial credit, all deliverables except the commissioning statement must be submitted by the submission deadline. Please refer to the EG1003 Grading Policy for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can our robot climb up walls?

Yes, robots are allowed to climb up walls on this course.

If we go to the bomb using the hill route and then return to the start tile using the tunnel route (or vice versa), will we receive extra credit for completing both routes?

Yes.

Can we build some arm extension for our robot to disarm the bomb so that it does not have to reach the actual bomb tile?

No, arms are not allowed. On this course, your robot must actually get itself to the bomb tile and press the disarm button to receive credit.