Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo
Table of Contents
Team Vision for System Level Demo with Customer
The hopes for this phase was to finish all major subsystems and then begin testing prior to a full-scale customer demo. The hopes were to have the customer testing a version of the product that fulfilled all requirements and gain feedback to make the last changes before customer hand-off.
During this phase, a lot was accomplished with the Robocomposter in preparation of the customer demo. The hopes were to have the customer running all systems together and test the product that fulfilled their vision at the beginning of the year. All major subsystems were completed and the mechanical components of the Robocomposter were completed. In addition, the GUI was put together and integrated into the design. The test was run with the customer and the results are shown below.
Test Results Summary
The video below shows the tests that were run with the customer. Extensive testing was not done before the customer meeting due to proper compostable materials not being obtained and electrical integration not completed prior to the meeting. During the meeting the grinder was tested extensively and it was shown that there were no issues with "worst-case" materials being put through the composter. However, an issue with the bushing in the gearbox was observed and the gearbox was subsequently taken apart and handed off to the shop to be welding together. The augers also needed to be shaved down to prevent jamming and potentially reduce noise.
First, the grinder needed to be put together and completed. After initial testing, all teeth were taken off the hex shaft and rotated and then put back together. The coupler was finished and the grinder motor was mounted.
The final state of the auger motor/coupler assembly is shown below before being mounted.
The holding bin was also completed. The auger PVC in the middle was cut out after testing revealed flaws and then the motor was mounted onto the auger.
Once all systems were put onto the frame, the customer demo occurred. The GUI was integrated and videos showing the results are shown below.
Customer Demo Video 1 can be found here!
Customer Demo Video 2 can be found here!
The videos above show the GUI, grinder, and auger all working appropriately.
In the previous portion of the system build we had determined how best to wire the system up using a protoboard to create bus-lines in order to reduce the number of wires connected to the Arduino. This was accomplished by soldering a solid piece of wire to the bottom of the protoboard and then using the through pins to attach the appropriate wires. Doing this we were able to combine the wires connecting to the 5V pin and the ground pin on the Arduino from the Sabertooth motor controller, the three temperature sensors, and the moisture sensor. Due to the capabilities of the DS18B20 temperature sensors we used we were able to combine the data lines into a single bus line. This allowed us to reduce the number of 4.7k pull-up resistors needed between data and power for the temperature sensors, and reduce the number of wires going into the Arduino. Below the protoboard, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi 2 can be seen with all their connections in their box.
The power supply and motor controllers were securely fastened into their own box separated from the other components due to the amount of current that could be flowing through the wires, and to help reduce the amount of heat produced by the electronics. These can be seen wired below.
The customer demo also provided an environment that enabled the initial composting tests for the Robocomposter. After 1 night of the material running through the composter, it was evident that the tea was far too damp. There was a very bad odor and dirt needed to be added immediately to dry some of it up. However, once the dirt was added, the tea odor disappeared and all was fixed. Within 6 days, the videos below were taken and show the white mold. This is a sign of a healthy composting environment. Also, all of the soft materials had broken down. All that remained was the sticks, roots and heavier materials.
The temperature read 75 degrees during the composting period and then dropped to room temperature when the bacterial activation subsided.
A video of test results can be found here!
Another video of test results can be found here!
Risk and Problem Tracking
Risk Management here.