Phantom Dancer
A LEGO Mindstorms drag racer

Prototype

Create a robot from the provided (Lego) NXT kit that performs a specified procedure as quickly as possible.

Design process

I believe that there is a lot to learn from the design report. Key takeaways from the report are the clean, yet informative cover page and the clear partitioning of information into the required sections. However, the content inside the sections could be better justified via logical argument, more precise language could be used to specify requirements, and the citations could definitely use work.

In testing, the robot produced too much torque at full power, which would cause its motor to disengage from the wheel drive. The design had to compete at a lower power setting, which resulted in a higher than designed race completion time.

In the conclusion, the report suggests improvements to the design after seeing it in action. This type of reactive design is critical in design work, and became a key part of my engineering design process.

This artifact shows a design that was planned and tested without considering all the necessary factors. A single mistake which led to a large reduction in performance of the final product. The design process had clearly made an incorrect assumption at some point and had not caught it until prototyping. A way to improve the design would be to submit the prototype back to the conceptual design phase with the intention of creating a new design that rectifies the problems.

Design Process
The design process for the Phantom Dancer.

In the design process above, note the large amount of instructor scaffolding (orange) and the majority of evaluation (red border) is done by instructor. Despite the design process of this project being largely effective, it consumed a large amount of instructor resources, which are in much lower supply than student resources. Therefore, future projects make use of a more student-centric approach to conserve the limited instructor time available

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