Team Vision for Problem Definition PhasePhase Vision:
The plan for Phase 1 is to fully define and understand the problem we will be addressing in MSD I and II, as well as build a framework for team dynamics and lay groundwork for working together over the duration of the project. This will be accomplished by completing all of the phase deliverables. We also plan to start initial research into components in order to judge the feasibility and scope of the project, and be able to adequately plan things moving forward.
This phase heavily relied on communication with our customers, which led to development of our understanding of the problem specifically in the form of “customer requirements”. Working with the customers, we then further developed these into a list of “engineering requirements. These were the most critical aspects of this phase, but the importance of the other deliverables cannot be understated. Also after some initial research and discussions with customers, it was determined that the scope, budget, and other key constraints would be manageable. The team successfully completed all of the Phase 1 deliverables to the best of our ability, and this effort is expected to pay off in the long run as it laid a strong foundation for this project to be built on.
Project SummaryA ‘Smart Buoy’ is a small autonomous marine vehicle that can be controlled by a user to navigate to GPS coordinates and has the ability to maintain the desired location. There are many industrial, commercial, scientific, and recreational applications for this technology; however, for sailing specifically, there is a frequent need to adjust buoy locations as prevailing winds shift throughout a day of racing. Currently in the sport, the race committee must send boats out to manually adjust buoy locations which is time consuming and labor intensive.
The goal of this project will be to develop a prototype of a ‘smart buoy’ specifically for sailboat racing, as well as develop a technology and concepts that can be applied to other autonomous marine vehicle applications. The resulting prototype must be durable and able to operate for an entire day of racing, withstand environmental and surface conditions, be easy to control and set up, and follow coast guard laws and regulations.
- Yacht Clubs
- Race Committees
- Mike Ritenour (Customer)
- Glenn Steed (Customer)
- Dr. Mark Indovina (Guide)
- Coast Guard
Use CasesScenario #1: Sailboat Race
- Buoy that defines the race course for sailboat races
- Must be able to be moved frequently due to the possibility of winds changing often
Scenario #2: Coast Marker
- Marker that defines a spot or a greater space along the coast
- Not moved frequently but must navigate salt water and ocean waves
Scenario #3: Waves too intense for safe operation
- The wind and waves become too larger and risk a possible capsizing
- The buoy senses that it is unstable and alerts the user of the unsafe conditions
Project Goals and Key DeliverablesProject Goals: Produce a device that allows race organizers to control buoy location remotely from shore or from a committee boat using a user friendly interface. The device will comply with Coast Guard and local regulations and be portable.
Key Deliverables: - A functional prototype which will remain at RIT for continued use in future projects
- Appropriate design, test, and manufacturing documentation
- Test data verifying correct operation
- Designs alternatives
- Other possible configurations
- Other possible use environments
- User’s guide for operation
Customer Requirements (Needs)
Customer Requirements are summarized in the following table:
The CR Excel file can be found here.
Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)
Engineering Requirements are summarized in the following table, created from the Customer Requirements and benchmarking research:
The ER Excel file can be found here.
Key Constraints/Operating Conditions
- Operating Weather Conditions:
Up to 3ft waves and 15kts of wind
- Deployable by 2 people:
Max Weight of 100lb
- Transportable by pickup truck bed:
Footprint less than 6ft x 5ft
- Must follow coast guard laws and regulations
- Safe to operate and interact with:
Can withstand collisions without being damaged or causing damage Electrical components properly insulated Proper protection from moving mechanical components and incorporates safeguards for improper operation
House of Quality
The House of Quality below identifies the customer requirements being addressed by each of our engineering requirements:
The House of Quality Excel file can be found here.
The working Risk Management file can be found here.
Design Review Materials
Plans for next phase
The Gantt chart can be found here.