Feb 1: Robot Updates

Progress continues on the fire fighting robots.

How much work did it take to get to this point?

  • work started Nov 28
  • we’ve met for 27 class days since then
  • which amounts to approximately 22 hours of work

The biggest mechanical obstacle that remains for the students is finding a fan that will extinguish a candle from anything but point-blank distance.

Teams of 2 seems ideal — everyone has an important role to play, they can work in parallel some tasks, yet both team members knows what’s going on with all parts of the robot.

The Gantt Chart project plans I added as part of the project aren’t helpful. They’re busy work as far as the kids are concerned. Plus, the students are novice enough that they’re poor estimators of their ability to make progress. Next year, I may drop this part.

I’m considering next year having a midterm demo day with a set of performance targets the bots have to hit by that date. For example, these bots should be able to navigate a hallway and make one turn. This year, we held a design review at the midterm (a little over a week ago), which went well from my point of view though I don’t think the kids got too much from it.

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