Notes on Dr Hensel Interview - 10-2-07
- To what extent may the students reproduce other teams' work, both present and past?
- It is allowed as long as they are properly referenced. It is expected that information will be shared between teams. It is preferable that information be linked between projects instead of copying and pasting the information. It is up to the team leaders to decide how much of the PRP will be the same, whether it be 100% or 80%, etc.
- How do you expect the projects to be carried out? For example, at the end of the year, all five teams should have the same product?
- There are three means of controlling the motors. There is the PWM, CAN, and SPI. CAN and SPI both have PWN as a subroutine. CAN is commonly used in the vehicle industry. SPI is more general networking protocol. It is not specific to the auto industry. It is preferable that the client software will be the same across teams, but the layer between say the PWM and the client could be different across teams. But the modules could be interchanged without any issues on the user end.
- What are some issues to be concerned with?
- If the interface between the platform and the motor module is determined right off the bat, a dummy platform could be made for testing purposes. Several needs could be stated as a trend as oppose to hard numbers. The environment that the entire robot will perform in will be a smooth surface. Due to its small size, it will not need to jump gaps. Since it is the first generation of the RP1, the most difficult terrain would be a minor incline.
- Would you say that immediately establishing a standard template for the physical, electrical and control interface between the robot platform is important?
- That would make things go very smoothly and set a starting point for all the teams, and also assure that any motor module can fit on any platform.
- As we complete interviews, should we be beginning to develop some target specifications?
- Yes, you can start that after you conduct some interviews.
- We were thinking of having all the teams start out with a starter kit of sorts. We were thinking of including at least the wheels and motors so they could be standard to all teams and so they do not have to spend time researching and purchasing these items.
- That is a good idea. I see that as being a benefit. Try looking at a company called Sky Wheels. They have a lot of options. This idea also follows in line with the idea of this project being open source and open architecture in that the components specified can come from multiple vendors.
- As we have been viewing the specifications statements for related past projects, we were wondering what specifications and customer needs transferred over to our project?
- The amount of robots manufactured by the team should be inversely proportional to the payload capacity. In other words, the smaller the payload for the motor module, the more commercialized it needs to be design as so to have the ability to make more. Also, I am a little uncomfortable with the previously designated speed for the RP10 Motor Module. It might be a little fast for the terrain the robot should see. Also, in past projects the robots have been heavy compared to their payload. Since this is a light payload robot, the robot should be light. The previously designated target weight might be set a little high, and I can see the target weight being set lower than it is now.
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