Search & Recovery Robot (SRR)

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RFP*: Search & Recovery Robot (SRR)

* 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

In 2007, meteor Billy1987 collided with the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS orbits the moon and is a research facility assembled in space and formed among the space agencies of the US, Russia, Japan, Canada and eleven European countries. During the collision, several pieces of the ISS landed on the Moon, including "Zarya", the power supply module. NASA has issued an RFP for the development of a cost-effective autonomous robot that will retrieve Zarya. The robot should be compact in size in order to fit into the space shuttle. It will be released from the shuttle, land on the moon, traverse through the debris, retrieve Zarya, and return back to its landing site where it will take off back to the space shuttle.

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 SRR must be able to move autonomously over a pre-selected route, retrieve the power supply module Zarya, and returning them to the space shuttle (start point). Students are allowed to assist their robot in retrieval of Zarya, as long as a part of the robot is overhanging the tile where Zarya can be found at the start of the simulation. For extra credit, the robot may retrieve specific modules that have fallen off the ISS. The robot must fit in a start area that is 25cm long by 25cm wide. There is no height restriction. These specifications must be met for final commissioning.

Projectile (catapult, slingshot) designs are not allowed.

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.

The robot must return to the space shuttle for the robot to successfully complete the project.

Note: Any student who attempts to alter the course in any way, shape, or fashion (this includes lifting a tile to inspect its design) must meet with the Course Director to explain your attempt at academic dishonesty.

Route Choices

The starting point is indicated by the tile in Figure 1.

Figure 1: SRR Landing Site
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.

Your robot must retrieve Zarya (green module) shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Zarya
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 activate and travel across the Solar Panel.

Figure 3: Solar panel route view
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 2: The robot must traverse the tunnel formed from the debris of the collision.

Figure 4: Tunnel route view
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.

Extra Credit

Extra credit is awarded to students who build a robot that traverse moon dust and/or retrieves modules back to the space shuttle. The point breakdown for any extra credit is outlined in the EG1003 Grading Policy.

Figure 5: Unity (Node 1)
Figure 6: Quest (Joint Airlock)
Figure 7: Pirs (Docking Compartment)

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

Model

The following materials will be provided:

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

The finished SRR must fit within the start tile which is 25cm long by 25cm wide. Any other components that the SRR uses must also fit within the tile.

Additional materials can be supplied by your TA.

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:

  • Pass the hill

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:

  • Retrieve Zarya

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 start area with Zarya

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

If our robot is able to, can we open the one-way door from the other side?

Yes, BUT BE AWARE THAT THIS WILL NOT SATISFY BENCHMARK A. Benchmark A clearly states that your robot must reach the blue-marked tile. If you choose to bypass the solar panel by going through the one-way door, your robot must still make its way to that blue-marked tile to receive credit for Benchmark A.

Can we pick up the modules with our hands and place it on the robot or does the robot have to pick up the modules on its own?

No, as long as your robot is on the tile on which the module (Zarya and the extra credit ones) is sitting on, then you may pick it up and place it on your robot.

How much of our robot has to be on the module tile for us to be able to pick it up?

At least 50% of your robot must be on the tile on which a module is sitting on for you to be able to pick it up.