P16229: Robofish 3.1 - Navigation
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Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

Objectives

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.

Accomplishments

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.

Team Norms and Values

In order to establish a basis upon which actions and expectations an be built, our team constructed a list of norms and values.

Values

Value - The sorts of behaviors your team values
  1. Effective Communication
  2. The ability to collaborate and have effective meetings
  3. Punctual and Informative progress reports when required
  4. Collaboration with and cooperation between Robofish teams
  5. Prompt communication responses

Norms

Norm - Definitions of acceptable and unacceptable levels of behavior

Norms:

  1. Professional and respectful during reviews and meetings to all attendees
  2. Team members must be willing to listen to others’ ideas
  3. Team members are expected to attend all monday and saturday formal meetings
  4. Team members are expected to make informed, defendable design decisions, not arbitrary ones.
  5. Criticism must be productive and well thought out
  6. Team members should wear business casual attire for design reviews

REV 2 as of (09/14/15)

Project Summary

Problem Statement

An autonomous fish-like aquatic robot should be able to move through water unabated by obstacles without any user input. Said robot can independently execute evasive maneuvers when necessary. An on-board navigation system provides the robot the ability to detect obstacles, while tail-like propulsion system, provides maneuverability. The previous iteration of robot fish, dubbed Robofish, possesses basic locomotion utilizing McKibben muscles and a fish-like tail, and depth control.

The previous design lacks onboard navigation and the maneuverability needed to move through water autonomously. The proposed Robofish iteration builds upon the project designs, P14029 and P15029, to implement a sensory system, improved tail design, and autonomy. Additionally, it shall be capable of integrated object avoidance, up to 1.5 body lengths away with absolutely no collisions, and an extended run-time of at least 10 hours while retaining the motion and peak-velocity performance of the previous design. Finally, the new design does not significantly impact the current state of the robot and does not impose any serious risk to the robot in augmenting its navigational functionality.

Benchmarking/Background

This project is the next in a line of projects augmenting the robotic fish platform produced by the Lamkin-Kennard laboratory. The robotic fish generates force required for locomotion using soft pneumatic actuators called Mckibben Muscles. Development of pressure in the pneumatic muscle results in "muscle" contraction as seen in figure 1.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d0/Sam_animation-real-muscle.gif

Fig 1. Animated actuation of a McKibben pneumatic muscle.

The overall goal of the project seeks to develop a soft-bodied pneumatic muscle-powered fish that looks, moves, and feels like a fish. The robotic fish should be capable of swimming, turning, and the primary mechanism for generating the swimming motion must be McKibben muscles.

Additionally, the robotic fish produced by this team should include an on-board navigation system and object avoidance algorithm. It should be capable of long deployments in the water wherein it carries out some task without significant risk to the fish, environment, or need for human intervention.

Link to 1-page project summary or project charter

Use Cases

General Use Cases

  1. Military Application - Surveillance
  2. Environmental Application - Disaster Cleanup
  3. Research Application - Sample Collection and Spatial Mapping

Snapshot

Use Case Example

Use Case Example

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

Goals

  1. Design a functional robotic fish
  2. Improve function over previous iteration
  3. Meet as many customer needs as possible
  4. Learn from design planning and process

Deliverables

  1. Working robotic fish
  2. User Manual and Troubleshooting Guide
  3. All proper documentation

Customer Requirements (Needs)

Purpose

  1. Decompose the Problem Statement and input of relevant stakeholders into elements needed to satisfy the customers needs.
  2. Considering this purpose, this document will be used to anticipate potential failure modes or constraints associated with the build process.

Snapshot

Customer Requirement Table

Customer Requirement Table

For reference link to the live document can be found here.

REV 1 as of (09/08/15)

Inputs

  1. PRP.
  2. Problem Statement.
  3. Customer Interviews. For reference customer interview summary can be found here.
  4. Guide & other stakeholders.

Outputs and Destination

  1. Used in generating Engineering Requirements
  2. Will be presented in final presentation

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)

Purpose

  1. Create a document which takes qualitative customer requirements and equates them to quantitative measures that can be tested for.
  2. Identity additional constraints or requirements of the design not initially envisioned during preliminary interviews and planning.

Snapshot

Engineering Requirements Table

Engineering Requirements Table

For reference the Engineering Requirements Document can be found here.

REV 1 as of (09/08/15)

Inputs and Source

  1. Customer Requirements.
  2. Customer.
  3. Guide & other stakeholders.

Outputs and Destination

  1. Used in Function Decomposition.
  2. Used in Concept Generation & Development.
  3. Used for HoQ.
  4. Used for System & Detail Design.
  5. Used for generating Test Plans.
  6. Will be presented with Poster & Final Report.

Constraints

Customer Imposed Constraints

  1. Must use McKibben pneumatic muscles
  2. Must resemble a fish both in appearance and in locomotion
  3. Must use navigational system to traverse and obstacle course with zero human intervention
  4. Must use water from the surroundings to power McKibben muscles and other fluidic systems

Engineering Constraints

  1. Fish must be able to be easily maintained and redeployed quickly
  2. Fish must be sufficiently small and maneuverable to navigate obstacle course
  3. Sensor data must be continually fed to the microcontroller in order to execute breaks if necessary
  4. Total available power must be sufficient to allow for deployment and returning of fish to home location
  5. Fish must be sufficiently inexpensive, easy to use, and safe, such that individuals could purchase the fish platform for personal use.

House of Quality

Purpose

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

Snapshot

Engineering Requirements Table

Engineering Requirements Table

For reference the House of Quality Document can be found here.

REV 1 as of (09/08/15)

Inputs and Source

  1. Customer Requirements.
  2. Engineering Requirements.

Outputs and Destination

Provide input to the risk management process.

Design Review Materials

For reference link to the Project Definition Review presentation can be found here.

Plans for next phase

Purpose

It is important to have a plan to ensure that we do not fall behind. The clear definition of deadlines also enables accountability.

Snapshot

Project Plan

Project Plan

For reference the Project Plan Document can be found here.

REV 2 as of (09/14/15)

Preliminary Risk Assessment

At this stage we began to assess potential risks that we may encounter. These will become important in planning and designing our prototypes as we transition into Phase 2 of MSD1.

Snapshot

Preliminary Risk Assessment

Preliminary Risk Assessment

For reference the Preliminary Risk Assessment Document can be found here.


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