P12215: Wandering Ambassador Test Stand

Systems Design

Project Background

Over the past four years, RIT students have designed, assembled, and tested the Wandering Ambassador. They have succeeded in their goal of showcasing the creativity and aptitude of RIT students. Since the first year, the complexity of the project has grown immensely. The task of comprehending and understanding past modifications to enhance the project further has become a laborious task. Any further multidisciplinary modifications can only be done in a serial progression because of the current layout causing unnecessary time delays.

Project Statement

Our goal is to reduce the period in which a new group can familiarize themselves with the Wandering Ambassador. In addition, a comprehensive testing platform to allow quicker problem solving and simultaneous multidisciplinary modifications.


1. Improve modularity of the system to be able to separate and reassemble the electrical and mechanical components rapidly.

2. Ensure the safety of the pedestrians and surroundings.

3. Keep the wiring in the electrical system organized and optimized for future improvements.

4. Enhance the campus experience for prospective students.

5. Create a user friendly interface for detecting hardware malfunctions.

6. Compose tutorial for serial and I2C interfaces


1. A test stand that will allow future teams to quickly troubleshoot and develop new electronics and software prior to mounting on robot.

2. A learning module on communications interface so a new group can quickly ascertain how to program and make changes to the ambassador.

3. An ambassador that wanders around the campus manually or autonomously while reporting its location coordinates.

4. A tutorial describing I2C interfaces

Expected Project Benefits

At present, prospective RIT students interact with human ambassadors who guide them around the campus. This project will help these students discover the possibilities an RIT education can provide. Students will be able to interact with The Wandering Ambassador to find directions, local weather, events, dining locations and other information pertaining to campus life. In addition, the proposed improvements and learning tools will help future engineering teams further develop the Wandering Ambassador platform.

Strategy & Approach

Assumptions & Constraints:

The team must have a well-rounded understanding of the current Wandering Ambassador robot in order to enable off-line development, experimentation, and debugging. The team must assume particular components of the current robot are operable. The ability to enable parallel development and create a modular system for upcoming teams will prove to be a constraint due to several technologies being developed simultaneously. The team will focus on design issues throughout the duration of the project in order to assist the development of future design iterations.

Issues & Risks:

• Understanding the scope and learning curve for current robot

• Obtaining and implementing new parts and hardware with current system

• Limitations and processing power of host computer

Expectations and Outcome of System Design Review

• Pandaboard vs Beagleboard

• Proposed vs Current Sonar

• Proposed Accelerometer vs Current bump sensor

• Proposed vs Current IR

• Number of microcontrollers necessary for operation

• Implementation of solar panels in redesign of PCB

• Redesign considerations of PCB layout

• Labview GUI interface with new PCB layout

• Define operating environment

To see the full systems design review including all diagrams andchats please use the following link to download a copy.

Systems Level Design Review
Systems Design Review Meeting Notes
Work Breakdown



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