P16419: Marketable, Stackable Seed Starter Kit

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

If you would like to view our live documents, please visit the Problem Definition Documents page.

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

During this phase, the team plans to have a working EDGE site complete with the basic information including any information we have researched and discussed. Customer and engineering requirements will be known and all deliverables will be complete.

Project Summary

A marketable, stackable seed starter kit is a device that can control temperature and moisture for growing seeds that are grown indoors. The device is used for a local non-profit called Rochester Roots and Montessori school. Since Rochester, NY has very harsh non-farming seasons, this device allows the seeds to grow inside and later be moved outside to a garden when the weather is suitable for farming. A MSD team developed this device last year but are not able to control lighting, is not modular, nor stackable. The goal of this project is to redesign the unit housing to make it easier to stack for shipping purposes and in the classroom or home, integrate controlled lighting and reduce production costs. The end result will build upon the original design while improving its range of capabilities. The resulting product will meet the specifications set by the Rochester Roots and will be their intellectual property.
1-Page Project Summary

1-Page Project Summary

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Use Cases

This use case is the optimal situation with a school being in possession of a smaller seed starter kit.
Use Case

Use Case

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

The customer can expect to receive a working smaller unit that can hold one standard seed tray, is cheaper to mass produce, records the needed data, fit on a countertop and has the lighting fixture attached.

Customer Requirements (Needs)

  1. The customer has requested a unit that can fit on a standard classroom counter top. This will allow the unit to be housed in any classroom, and allow students to follow the plant life cycle through their day. For home use, families can grow their own food and plants continuing what was learned in school.
  2. The customer has requested that a lighting fixture be secured to the unit itself. The light will deliver the same amount of light, just to a smaller area. This is to increase mobility of the product.
  3. The customer has requested multiple data gathering points including temperature, soil water content and lumens. Students will record this data either through a direct PC connection or through visual displays.
  4. The customer has stated that the students are learning about making sensors and can help with the project. This will give them a tie between textbooks and real life.
  5. The customer has stated that the water tray must stop leaking. The tray is filled with water for bottom watering, and the leaks make that difficult.
  6. The customer has requested that the product be lightweight and cheap to manufacture. The components will be readily available, possibly in kit for, to those interested.
Customer Requirements

Customer Requirements

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Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)

Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements

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  1. Size (class room counter depth)
  2. Budget (quality of equipment)
  3. Power (small power supply for whole unit)
  4. Location (must be in classroom near power, not self sufficient)

House of Quality

The house of quality is a visual aid to show the flow from Customer Requirements to Engineering Requirements and their respective overall importance.

House of Quality

House of Quality

An ineractive HOQ can be found Click the Live Document link to download this file.

Plans for next phase

Before the next review, we should have a working knowledge of our systems (possibly have an arduino unit on order to start learning), have concepts narrowed down and some simple mock ups of them.

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