Security Infiltration Drone (SID)

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RFP*: Security Infiltration Drone (SID)

* 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 2009, [confidential] infiltrated the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters and nearly crippled communications throughout the United States. In response, the CIA is issuing an RFP for the design and construction of a robot to infiltrate their headquarters, retrieve a vital piece of data, and exit the facility within the allotted time.

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 SID must be able to move autonomously over a pre-selected route, scan barcodes to open the gates, retrieve the data canister, deliver the data canister to the extraction point, and proceed to the exit. The robot must fit in a start area that is 25cm by 25cm. These specifications must be met for final commissioning.

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.

Main Tasks

  • Solve the gate puzzle
  • Reach the exit of the course

Extra Credit

  • Retrieve data canisters (with a robotic arm) and bring them to extraction point

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.

Figure 1: SID Course
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.

Course Description

The course has four barcodes (A, B, C, and D) and four gates (1, 2, 3, and 4). When your robot scans a barcode, storing the scan and sending it out at some later time(s) is not allowed. Any and all scans MUST have an instantaneous effect.

Repeatedly scanning the same barcode is NOT allowed. For example, nowhere in any puzzle solution is it necessary to scan barcode A more than once consecutively.

Figure 2: Start Tile

Figure 3: Barcode

Figure 4: Unopened Gate

Once the barcode corresponding to the gate is scanned the gate will open. Note: Any designs that attempt to bypass in any other way (climbing over or under the gate) will not receive any credit.

Figure 5: Opened Gate

When a barcode is scanned, it toggles the corresponding gate(s). i.e., if the gate(s) are open, they'll close and if they're closed, they'll open. The gates that correspond to each barcode are shown below:

  • Barcode A: Gates 2 and 4
  • Barcode B: all gates
  • Barcode C: Gates 1 and 3
  • Barcode D: Gate 2 (delayed by two minutes)

For example, if Barcode A is scanned while Gate 2 is open and Gate 4 is closed, Gate 2 will close and Gate 4 will open.

When Barcode D is scanned, it will not toggle Gate 2 right away; the signal will go through two minutes after the barcode is scanned.

At the beginning of each trial, Gates 1 and 4 are open and Gates 2 and 3 are closed.

Figure 6: Data Canister Capsule

Figure 7: Extraction Point

Figure 8: Exit Point

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

Model

The following materials will be provided:

  1. Mindstorms EV3 part kit
  2. One NXT/EV3
  3. Sensors
  4. Motors
  5. Barcode Scanner

The finished SID must not exceed a footprint of 25cm × 25cm. There is no height limitation.

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:

  • Show puzzle solution and scan first barcode in sequence

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:

  • Scan three barcodes in solution.

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:

  • Reach the exit point (black tile).

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 must 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

Are we allowed to scan a barcode, store the scan and then output it whenever we want to without having to scan that barcode again?

No. Every time you scan a barcode, it must have an instantaneous effect. In other words, when a barcode is scanned, the corresponding gates it controls must toggle right away (obviously with the exception of barcode D) and so the gates may only be toggled by a direct scan, not by sending out a stored signal.

Benchmark B says that we need to perform the first three barcode scans in our solution so can we just say that our solution has three consecutive barcode A scans and have that count?

No. There is no need at any point in this puzzle to consecutively scan the same barcode more than once. You are not allowed to just say that you came up with a solution that has 3 barcode A scans in a row to start off with. That is unnecessary and redundant and does not do anything for you in terms of solving the puzzle, so it is not allowed.


Appendix A: Connecting NXT/EV3s through Bluetooth

For this project, you will need to send data from your NXT/EV3 to the other NXT/EV3s spread throughout the course. In this section we will go through the steps needed to connect your device to the other devices on the SID course. Note that an NXT can only communicate with other NXTs and EV3s can only communicate with other EV3s.


Connecting an EV3 to another EV3

On your EV3, go to the settings tab and check to see if Bluetooth is enabled. If the box next to it is checked, then that means Bluetooth is enabled.

Figure 10:

Go into the Bluetooth settings.

Figure 11:

Enable Bluetooth if necessary, then select Connections.

Figure 12:

To search for the EV3 bricks that you would like to connect to, select Search.

Figure 13:

Within a minute or two, you should see the EV3 you want to connect to, as well as any other Bluetooth devices within range. In this example, we want to connect to EV3_Brick2, so we'll select EV3_Brick2 and connect to it.

Figure 14:

Now you'll need to pay attention to both your EV3 as well as the EV3 you want to connect to as you'll see the following prompt.

Figure 15:

Once you confirm that you want to connect to that device, you will be asked for a passkey. The default passkey is 1234 and is automatically entered on your device so all you need to do is confirm it. You will also need to enter that same passkey on the second EV3.

Figure 16:

If everything was done correctly, you should receive the following message.

Figure 17:

Appendix B: Using the Barcode Scanner

In order to program your NXT to make use of the barcode scanner, you will need a special block that is not included with Mindstorms called "barcode scanner". The files needed to use this block can be found at https://eg.poly.edu/downloads.php.


Setting up the barcode scanner block (EV3)

Once the file has been downloaded, open the Mindstorms EV3 program and select Tools, and then Block Import.

Figure 24:

On the Block import and export window, click Browse and select the folder where the file was downloaded to. Under Select Blocks to Import, you should see the BarcodeScanner.ev3b file.

Figure 25:

Select the file and import it. Afterwards, restart the Mindstorms programs.

Using the barcode scanner block (EV3)

The barcode scanner block can be found on the Sensors Tab (the yellow tab)

Figure 26:

Once you’ve added the block to your program, you can assign a port for the barcode scanner by clicking on the number on the top right corner of the block.

Figure 27:

For this SLDP, you need to transmit the barcode that was scanned to another EV3 in order to open the gates. To do that, you will need to add the Messaging block to your program. This block can be found in the Advanced tab (the blue tab).

Figure 28:

After adding the block to your program, connect the terminals as shown in the figure below.

Figure 29:

When using the Messaging block, it is important that the name of the EV3 you want to connect to is set on the first terminal. You can indicate which you want to send the message to by clicking on the first terminal of the Messaging block and typing in the name. Alternatively, if you have already established a connection with the EV3 that you want to send the message to and have the EV3 connected to your computer, the name of that EV3 will be displayed as an option.

Figure 30: