P16029: Robofish 3.2 - Object Retrieval

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase


During this phase of the design process our team sought out to clearly define the problem being addressed in such a way that we have a clear picture of the requirements and constraints going into the design phase. It is important to have this picture so as not to waste resources and ensure that all potential stakeholders are satisfied. Critical analysis of the problem prior to attempting to develop a solution is a key aspect of quality project-based engineering.


Our team accomplished the objects we set out to achieve going into this phase. We clearly defined our customer requirements but also identified additional questions for key stakeholders. When assessing engineering requirements we determined that a large number of the customer requirements imposed significant constraints on our design. This became even more apparent when constructing the House of Quality and assessing risks. Overall, our team feels we accomplished our goals for this phase and gained a significant amount of valuable information from it.

Project Summary

Problem Statement

The goal of this project is to create an underwater robot that can detect a falling object, descend down and intercept the object before it hits the bottom of the environment, while returning to a "home" location. The fish will achieve the capabilities required by utilizing McKibben muscles for horizontal propulsion. In addition, the fish will be able to detect the object and make a optimal decision on how to intercept the object before it hits the bottom of the environment. There have been two phases, P14029 and P15029, that have incorporated buoyancy, RC and autonomous control. Our team will utilize what has already been created, and design a new Robotic fish utilizing a new pump system and tail. Our team will be collaborating our efforts with P16229.

Norms and Values

A list of our norms and values can be downloaded here.

Use Cases

General Use Cases

  1. Military Surveillance
  2. Entertainment Application
  3. Research Sample Collection and Spatial Mapping
  4. Environmental Condition Surveillance with Prevention

Imagine RIT Demonstration Scenario


Project Goals and Key Deliverables


  1. Create a fully autonomous Robofish
  2. Expand upon the functionality of the previous Robofish
  3. Design a mechanism on the head of the fish to acquire a falling object


  1. A functioning Robofish for Imagine RIT
  2. Provide updated documentation within Edge website


We looked at the previous Robofish projects and the Underwater manipulator to get a baseline of how we wanted our fish to perform.


Detailed documentation for these projects:

  1. Robofish 2014 (P14029)
  2. Robofish 2015 (P15029)
  3. Underwater Robotic Manipulator (P14253)

Customer Requirements (Needs)


Decompose the Problem Statement into functions of elements needed to satisfy the customer.


This document can be downloaded here.

Inputs and Source

  1. PRP.
  2. Problem Statement.
  3. Customer Interview.
  4. Guide & other stakeholders.

Outputs and Destination

  1. HoQ.
  2. Test Plans.
  3. Poster & Final Report.

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)


Create a contract between the engineer and the customer where indisputable satisfaction of the engineering requirements equates to customer satisfaction


This document can be downloaded here.

Inputs and Source

  1. Customer Requirements.
  2. Customer.
  3. Selected concept list.
  4. System Design.
  5. Template and Example .
  6. Guide & other stakeholders.

Outputs and Destination

  1. HoQ.
  2. Test Plans.
  3. Poster & Final Report.

Risk Mitigation



Customer Constraints

  1. Robofish must resemble a fish
  2. Must use McKibben muscles for locomotion
  3. Must use McKibben muscles for grasping mechanism
  4. McKibben muscles must use the surroundings water and other fluidic systems
  5. Must use sensors to track and locate object before it hits the ground, and return the object to home location

Engineering constraints

  1. Robofish must have efficient jaw structure in order to retrieve falling object
  2. Improve waterproofing of components to avoid the damage of sensitive components
  3. Battery capacity must be sufficient to provide power to every components within the Robofish
  4. Enhance the modularity of the parts to improve maintenance and ability to redeploy the Robofish

House of Quality


  1. Confirm that satisfaction of the Engineering Requirements implies that all of the Customer Requirements are met.
  2. Facilitate design trade off decisions


This document can be downloaded here.

Inputs and Source

  1. Template and Example.
  2. Customer Requirements.
  3. Engineering Requirements.
  4. Benchmarking Data.

Outputs and Destination

  1. Test Plans
  2. Poster & Final Report

Design Review Materials

Include links to:

Plans for next phase


Home | Planning & Execution | Imagine RIT

Problem Definition | Systems Design | Subsystem Design | Preliminary Detailed Design | Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep | Subsystem Build & Test | Integrated System Build & Test | Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo | Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation