Rapid Assembly and Design Challenge (RAD)

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RFP*: Rapid Assembly and Design Challenge (RAD)

* 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.

Introduction and Overview

In a rapidly progressing and innovation-focused world, there is constantly a push for revolutionary new ideas. As the future of engineering, you have been called upon by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in collaboration with the NYU Tandon School of Engineering to propose and develop upon unique, intriguing ideas that will promote technological advancement and improve quality of life. The NAE wants to see how the new generation of engineers will address the Engineering Grand Challenges and technological problems the world faces. They want to reward innovative and exceptional designs and prototypes.

Your team is tasked with identifying a problem that needs to be solved or addressing a prompt-based problem, and then moving forward to develop a proof of concept solution. At the end of the semester, you will be expected to have a working prototype that you can showcase to your professors and teaching assistants. The products that shows the most creativity, promise, and innovative excellence will be awarded. The goal of this endeavor is to address an engineering problem that you believe you can solve or begin to solve. You have the freedom to propose any idea you believe to have merit, be it a completely new technology or one that you aspire to adapt. If your proposal is selected, or if you are paired with a prompt, then you will be expected to move forward with your idea and have a concrete prototype by the end of the semester. You will be graded on the effort that is put into the project and in understanding the engineering design process, as well as your ability to explain what you learn from your engineering design endeavor.

Specifications

You will be utilizing the General Engineering Prototyping Lab and the NYU Tandon MakerSpace to design your project. The General Engineering Program will provide any applicable tools necessary to assist in prototyping and assembly.

An upperclassman mentor from the General Engineering Program will be provided to you. This mentor will act as a guide for you throughout the duration of this project. They will do the majority of your grading, and stay in contact with you about what deliverables will be due and when.

You have the freedom to propose an idea based in innovation and/or solving an engineering problem. Once your proposal has been selected by professors and other staff, you will work with your team to meet the goals that you, your mentor, and the professors have agreed upon. In order to complete your project to the best of your ability, you have a budget of $100 to order parts that you require. To use this budget for parts for your project, you must submit purchase requests that your mentor, and other faculty, will need to approve. You will need to submit all deliverables, meet Benchmarks, and complete Milestone presentations on time. Student prototypes will be judged by professors at the end of the semester, and the best teams will be awarded a prize.

Along with your mentor, there will be an additional RAD Open Lab (RAD OL) TA on-shift during Open Lab hours. A RAD OL TA will contact you when your orders have arrived, sign-out your RAD kit (a kit with some basic electronic components), sign-out additional electronic equipment, work through group conflicts, sit down with you and help you problem solve, help connect you with other TAs for specific help and training, and help you through this project in any other way possible. Your mentor will be your main point of contact throughout the semester, but any RAD OL TA will be able to provide additional support during all Open Lab hours.

The EG1003 Prototyping Lab (Protolab) is another resource available during most Open Lab hours. See the Open Lab schedule for exact times. The Prototyping Open Lab (Proto OL) TA will be available in Modelshop and can help you solder and design CAD models, and the Protolab TA will be available in Protolab can help design and approve 3D print designs.

Lastly, the Research & Development Committee of EG1003 has developed an Technical Online Library to provide you resources for help in web development, cybersecurity, game development, app development, programming languages, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, LEGO robotics, and more. The online library can be found here:

Example Project Ideas

Check out this Google document for more information on potential project ideas.

Review the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges for Engineering and the United Nations Education for Sustainable Development Goals reports to help you identify a global challenge that you are passionate about:

Microsoft Project

You must create a schedule to manage your time in Microsoft Project. You can learn Microsoft Project by doing the MS Project Skill Builder. This schedule must include all tasks related to the project from the start of the project to Submission. The Microsoft 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 manual page Planning Project Scheduling & Costs.

Cost Estimate

A cost estimate must be generated that specifies the cost of all the materials and labor required for the construction of the proof of concept. Tabulate this cost information clearly in an Excel spreadsheet. Help in calculating the cost is available by reviewing How to plan the schedule and calculate costs for a project. You MUST choose parts for purchase from Amazon for ease of purchasing and faster delivery. Any adjustments or changes over the semester in your cost estimate from the one implemented in your Design & Feasibility Report must be documented and shown to your mentor. .

The cost estimate should include the following:

  • Labor cost breakdown with hours and rates.
  • Cost of all materials and components.
  • Total cost must be shown in the bottom right corner.

There should be no decimal places in the cost estimate as this is purely an estimate. Be sure to round appropriately.

Weekly Meetings

Your group must schedule and attend weekly meetings with a RAD Open Lab (RAD OL) TA. Your group must choose a time slot together and abide to that time slot for the remainder of the semester. Your RAD OL mentor will set your Benchmarks and extra credit tasks.

For additional technical help, go to Open Lab and an Open Lab TA will assist you with your project.

Extra Credit

Extra credit tasks are determined by your mentor based on your specific RAD project. Usually, your mentor will give you an additional 2-3 tasks to complete by Commissioning, which can be up to 15 points each. You can also receive extra credit for completing Benchmark A, Benchmark B, or Submission early, or completing your respective SLDP's 3D printing extra credit task as described in the 3D Printing Guide. Refer to the EG1003 Grading Policy for exact point values. Creativity and innovation are always rewarded. Original designs will receive extra credit.

Purchasing

If EG1003 does not have the materials you need to complete your project, you will have a $100 budget to complete your project. This can only be used towards items on Amazon. You can submit requests to purchase items through the Purchasing Form. After submitting the purchasing form, you must go into Open Lab and get your purchase approved by a RAD Open Lab TA. The Purchasing Form can be found here:

In order to simplify this process, purchases must be approved by three specific dates at midnight. Purchases will be submitted by the department later that week. We cannot guarantee that purchases will arrive in a timely manner - make sure items are prime eligible for faster delivery. Think ahead and order on time.

Purchase requests must be approved by a RAD OL TA by midnight of the following days in order for purchases to go through:

09/30/19 (Week 5)
10/14/19 (Week 7)
10/28/19 (Week 9)

Additional Funding

There are other ways to receive additional funding for your RAD project in EG1003. One way includes applying to the EG1003 Innovation Grant. Your application will be reviewed by the last purchasing date. This grant is for projects that are able to create a working prototype with the initial budget, but are able to make an even better prototype with the additional funding. All purchases with the group's initial budget must be made before applying to this grant. The group's mentor must be notified of the group's want to apply for the grant. Students can also apply to the NYU MakerSpace mini grant, which is a monthly award given out by the MakerSpace. The Innovation Grant Application can be found here:

Milestones, Benchmarks, and Deliverables

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. Additionally, you will be required to meet certain benchmarks assigned by your mentor, and hand in reports/deliverables that add to the progress and comprehensiveness of your project.

Design & Feasibility Report

The Design and Feasibility Report (DFR) is extremely important, as it lays the groundwork for your project. You will be outlining your project idea, inspiration, and goals. The items that are to be outlined in your cost estimate will be purchased, so choose carefully.

The DFR must include:

  • Cover Page
  • Project Overview
  • Goals & Objectives
  • Design & Approach
  • Cost Estimate
  • Project Schedule
  • Relevant Pictures

The DFR is due to your mentor by email by Benchmark A. A basic outline of what your DFR should look like can be found here: DFR Outline. Do not forget to include the items listed above.

Milestone 1

Milestone 1 should act as a presentation of your Design and Feasibility Report. Without simply replicating your report in presentation format, take the key points to present in a concise and clear manner. The section formatting should be similar to that of the report. It is important that you outline your project goals and show that your project is realizable. This includes:

  • Project description (establish Benchmark A, Benchmark B, Commissioning requirements)
  • Mission statement
  • Technical design description
  • Preliminary conceptual drawing
  • Cost estimate
  • Microsoft Project schedule
  • Progress update (current state of the project)

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. Because your project will differ in format from other SLDPs, please treat this How-To as a general guideline but not an exact template. Your personalized Milestone 1 requirements and presentation format will be given to you by your mentor.

Benchmark Assessment A

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

Part of your Benchmark is completing and turning in your DFR. When you showcase the rest of your Benchmark requirements to an Open Lab TA, every part of the DFR must be satisfied in order to Benchmark.

For your Benchmarks, your mentor will outline specific goals that your project must achieve to satisfy the Benchmark. These goals will vary depending on the project and mentor, and will be determined based on the particular project's level of difficulty. Please be sure to submit your Benchmark deliverables via the EG1003 website.

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

  • Design & Feasibility Report (DFR)
  • Have an initial physical prototype
  • Website submission of:
    • CAD drawings
    • Pictures of prototype
    • Flowchart of code
    • Project schedule
    • Cost estimate

Milestone 2

Milestone 2 will be a project progress update. You must explain all changes and developments made thus far, particularly in regards to Benchmark A. Include whether or not you were able to complete your Benchmark A requirements, and if not, explain why. Also, highlight any changes you plan on making to your design or project, in general. Your Milestone 2 presentation must include:

  • Project description
  • Mission statement
    • What is your project's purpose?
  • Technical design description
  • CAD drawings: top, front, most detailed side, isometric
  • Relevant pictures
  • Flowchart of code functions
  • Cost estimate (previous and current). What changes were made?
  • Microsoft Project schedule (previous and current). What changes were made?
  • Progress update: current state of the project (time, budget, etc.)

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, but remember that your format will differ slightly.

Benchmark Assessment B

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

Similar to Benchmark A, your Benchmark B requirements will be determined and outlined to you by your mentor. Please be sure to submit your Benchmark deliverables via the EG1003 website.

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

  • Have a new iteration of the physical prototype
  • Website submission of:
    • CAD drawings
    • Pictures of prototype
    • Commented code
    • Project schedule
    • Cost estimate

Milestone 3

Milestone 3 is similar to the Milestone 2 presentation in that it will act as a project status update. At this stage, you should be close to having a substantial prototype. Make sure to elaborate on any testing that has occurred. Your Milestone 3 presentation must include:

  • Project description
  • Mission statement
    • What is your project's purpose?
  • Technical design description
  • CAD drawings: top, front, most detailed side, isometric
  • Relevant pictures
  • Flowchart of code functions
  • Cost estimate (previous and current). What changes were made?
  • Microsoft Project schedule (previous and current). What changes were made?
  • Progress update: current state of the project (time, budget, etc.)

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, but remember that your format will differ slightly.

Commissioning

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

To Commission, the following must be completed:

  • Fully-functional prototype
  • Any additional deliverables designated to you by your mentor
  • Website submission of:
    • CAD drawings
    • Pictures of prototype
    • Commented code
    • Project schedule
    • Cost estimate

Final Design Report

The Final Design Report (FDR) provides a comprehensive overview of your project process and developments from initial brainstorm to finished proof of concept. All project expectations and outcomes must be clearly detailed in the document. This report will also provide you with documentation experience useful for completing your Senior Design final report and other projects. For RAD groups, the Final Design Report will be submitted in place of your Lab 11 report.


The Final Design Report must include the following documentation:

  • CAD drawings
  • Pictures of prototype
  • Commented code
  • Project schedule
  • Cost estimate

Use this Final Design Report template with the following outline:

  • Introduction
    • Purpose of Project
    • Background
  • Requirements
    • Physical Components
    • Software Components
  • Procedures
    • Physical Construction
    • Software Setup
    • Software Troubleshooting
  • Milestone and Final Product Requirements
    • Benchmark A Requirements
    • Benchmark B Requirements
    • Final Submission Requirements
    • Human Resources and Training (e.g. workshops attended, TA expertise utilized, etc.)
  • Results
    • Benchmark A Results
    • Benchmark B Results
    • Difficulties Experienced
  • Conclusion
    • Results of Project
    • Future Improvements

Final Presentation

Final presentations for RAD teams are not like the Milestone presentations. Students will be doing a business pitch to showcase their work, their product, and their business. This pitch involves a 2-3 minute presentation to show who you are, your business, and pitching your project to theoretical investors. Focus on topics such as the project application, a target audience for this product, why it's different from other products on the market, and the product's market value. This pitch should also include a 1-2 minute video to supplement the presentation showing off the prototype and business. The presentation should be colorful and coordinated. There should be equal amounts of graphics and text. You should focus on keeping your audience engaged and interested in your product as you go through the presentation. Feel free to be creative with the Final Presentation! The following must be addressed in the Final Presentation:

  • Problem statement
  • Solution overview
  • What is the purpose of your product?
    • Who is it helping?
    • What problem does it solve?
  • Company description and qualifications
  • Drawings
  • Project description
  • Future goals
  • Video demonstration of prototype in use
  • Why should the company be awarded this contract?
    • Why is your product the best one on the market?
    • What makes your project unique?

Some example RAD Final Presentations can be seen below:

Submission

All SLDPs must submit online. Please visit https://eg.poly.edu/finalSLDP.php for the link to the Project Submission form and each SLDP group's individualized login information. To submit, you must login to the EG1003 website using this special login information. Submitting with your NYU account or any other account will generate an error. You may resubmit at any time before the deadline. Please note that submission times are based on the most recent submission.

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. The following list are general items that are expected from all RAD groups:

  • Cover page
  • Final presentation
  • Commented code
  • All the drawings of your design (initial through final)
  • Video of prototype in use
  • Final Microsoft Project schedule
  • Final cost estimate
  • Resume(s) (no fictitious resumes will be accepted)

Early Submission

If you submit your project one academic 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 academic week before the submission deadline (see syllabus for exact date). The deliverables received early are the ones you will use in your presentation. No adjustments to the submitted deliverables will be accepted.

Late Submission

Late Submission is not allowed. If you do not Commission or Partial Commission by the deadline set forth in the syllabus, you will not be allowed to submit and will receive a zero for the project grade. In order to receive Partial Commissioning, two TAs must analyze the project and determine its level of completeness in terms of Commissioning requirements. Please refer to the EG1003 Grading Policy for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions