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Stardate 2011.07.11 (Monday) - Phase II Preliminary Work Plan

posted Aug 17, 2011, 9:37 AM by Anant Narayanan

This is a first cut at listing the major items of work.  As always, the time commitments are likely to be wildly underestimated – but without it, we would be unlikely to leap into the fire!. 

The work has been grouped into five major categories of background knowledge, training, planning, doing (execution), and promotion.

·        Training.  The team members need to learn to use LEGO Digital Designer (a CAD program for depicting robot models).  It is available as a free download from LEGO.   Time Estimate: 2-3 hours.

·        Planning.  We need to plan and execute an outreach project to interest more children in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Time Estimate: 1 hour.

·        Execution.  We need to design the robot rover, and convert the design into a CAD file.  Ideally, a first draft of the CAD design has to be done by next weekend (July 17th), so that it can be fine tuned in the following week.  Time Estimates:  Robot Design 5-8 hours, CAD Design 6-8 hours, Phase II Board Setup 6 hours, Designing Attachments 4 hours, Programming, Debugging and Optimizing Rover Missions 40 hours.

·        Promotion.  We need to promote our STEM outreach project and also write our blog.  Time Estimate 4-6 hours.

·        Background Knowledge.  Finally, I want each of the team members to review the web videos and funding proposals of the 19 other finalists to position us better for the future.  This should be done interstitially (on a time available basis).  Two team members will be assigned to each of the other Top 20 teams – Thus each team member will get about 13 teams to review, and thus each finalist will be reviewed by two team members.  The reviews do not have to be exhaustive and can be based on impressions.  They will help calibrate our views relative to those of the competition judges.  Time Estimate 6-8 hours.

We have only two weeks to get this all done – so things are going to be pretty intense.  This week, it looks like Rohit and Minyoung are partially free while Gabriel is free on weekdays.  Next week, all three look to be free.  We hope this assumption bears out in practice.

We plan to get started this week (perhaps tomorrow!).  We will start with the training, the rover design and the outreach even before the competition board arrives from LEGO.  The background knowledge (and competitive intelligence) piece should be started right away.  We have very little time to lose!

We have had the good luck to reach the final round.  We are now going to give it our best shot.