P10203: LV1 Motor Controller Manufacturability (Land Vehicle 1 Motor Controller)


Table of Contents

Product Description/Objective Statement

To reduce the cost of existing motor controllers through redesign and cost analysis so that multiple controllers may be produced and used by the KGCOE.

Key Project Deliverables

Key deliverables for this project include a robust, low cost motor controller that can be easily manufactured in lots of 1-10 and easily integrate with both the Land Vehicle Platform as well as the Motor Module.

Primary Project Opportunities

Primary opportunities for this project include educational applications for first year students, a wide range of faculty and graduate research projects, and sales of kits to the public at large. This project also provides the opportunity to showcase the engineering talents of RIT students to companies interested in hiring them.

Assumptions and Constraints

It is assumed that this will be a wheeled vehicle that can traverse a variety of terrains and be assembled from modules to form a variety of configurations.


Stakeholders for this project include the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at RIT, faculty and graduate researchers, current and future senior design teams, students interested in the multi-disciplinary robotics club or FIRST robotics, and the student body as a whole.

Customer Constraints

The base level constraints placed on the project by the customer, as defined by the project family track can be found here.

Preliminary Customer Needs

Motor Controller Manufacturability
  • Reduce overall unit cost from the previous controller.
  • Must look professional and well-organized.
  • Use space more effectively than previous generations.
  • Perform at or above the level of the previous generation.
  • Must be easy for a first year engineering student to assemble and use.
  • Must be easily manufacturable in lots of 1-10 units.
  • Must be open source (all documentation published).
  • Must be open architecture (COTS parts used).

Function Tree

LV1 Motor Controller Manufacturability Function Tree

LV1 Motor Controller Manufacturability Function Tree

Required Resources

People Capital Environment
  • Faculty Guide
    • Dr. Wayne Walter (ME)
  • Faculty Consultant
    • Prof George Slack (EE)
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant
    • TBA
  • Primary Customer
    • Dr. Ed Hensel (ME)
  • Approximate $1000 LV Project budget
    (to be split between P10201, P10202 and
    P10203 upon discretion of teams)
  • All existing RP hardware including
    RP100, RP10 and RP1 robots
  • All existing RP project documentation
  • Mechanical Engineering machine shop
  • Brinkman Laboratory
  • Senior design floor
  • Electrical Engineering laboratory

Staffing Requirements

Name Discipline Role / Skills
Dr. Wayne Walter Electrical Engineering Faculty Guide, Will work closely with the team on an on-going basis to facilitate success.
Prof. George Slack Electrical Engineering Faculty Consultant, Will provide discipline technical support on an intermittant basis.
TBD Grad Student TBD Teaching Assistant
TBD Student Electrical Engineering Student Responsible for hardware selection and circuit board design. Assist with other EE responsibilities.
TBD Student Electrical Engineering Student Responsible for power supply design and selection, wiring, and the motor module interface. Assist with other EE responsibilities.
TBD Student Computer Engineering Student Responsible for software development. Research and understand previous software. Make any necessary improvements
TBD Student Computer/Electrical Engineering Student Responsible for coordinating EE and CE areas and assisting with software development
TBD Student Mechanical Engineering Student Responsible for integration and communication with other LV1 projects. Design interface with platform
TBD Student Mechanical/Industrial Engineering Student Responsible for cost reduction analysis of new controller design. Must work in conjunction with EEs and other ME to ensure manufacturability. Assist other ME with integration and communication with other LV1 projects.

Preliminary Work Breakdown Structure

Week 0->1 Tasks Week 1->2 Tasks Week 2->3 Tasks
  • Team Introductions
  • Learn areas of skill and interest for each team member
  • Begin learning EDGE
  • Begin Background Research
  • Thoroughly review DPM project readiness package
  • Download and become familiar with SVN client
  • Schedule weekly meetings with P10201 and P10202 project groups
  • Update user info and project description on EDGE
  • Obtain and analyze past hardware
  • Review preliminary customer needs
  • Meet with stakeholders and customers to review needs
  • Meet with P10202 and P10203 project groups
  • Consider task placement for team members
  • Continue background research
  • Meet with adviser(s)
  • Begin project design and planning
  • Assign areas of focus for each team member
  • Determine First Deliverables
  • Continue analysis of previous RP hardware
  • Refine and finalize customer needs
  • Meet with P10202 and P10203 project groups
  • Plan weeks 4-11
  • Continue background research
  • Schedule followup stakeholder and customer interviews

Risk Assessment

Description of Risk Possible Consequences Probability of Risk (H/M/L) Severity of Risk (H/M/L) Overall Risk (H/M/L) Contingency Plan
Team member missing for extended period of time Components may be missing from final project M M M Delegate times to meet and update all members on status of specific areas of research, good documentation
Parts/Materials Arrive Late Delayed assembly and testing period, possibly miss deadline for completion H M M Design module so process does not hinge on ordered parts. Cite multiple vendors for same components
Controller causes decreased performance of land vehicle Speed, Stability, Maneuverability and/or Size do not meet customer requirements L H M Weigh customer requirements highly during design process
New controller fails to reduce cost from previous generation Too few modules are produced to meet project specs. Large scale manufacturability may not be possible M H M Continue research on cost reduction. Pitch project family idea to investor with more capital
New controller fails to integrate with concurrent and past projects No working vehicles can be produced L H M Hold regular meetings with concurrent teams to ensure integration, and base all designs off of older components
New controller fails to reduce space requirements Vehicle platform may fail to meet size requirements H L M Work closely with platform team to ensure minimum space used. Explore all options for board size reduction
New controller fails to utilize previous software More time is required to develop new software. Relying upon unproven software, which may not be as affective M L M Develop new software that is capable of controlling the modules and interfacing with the input device

Additional Documentation

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