Day Seventeen

Engineering Design Review:  Autonomous Machine

Today we are reviewing prototype designs for the assignment and reflecting on the meanings of autonomy.

Deliverables for today:

  1. Revise the mechanical design on paper.
  2. Sketch the basic electronic design on paper.
  3. Write two-sentence description of proposed behavior.
  4. Outline proposed control strategy on paper.

Criteria for an engineering review.  Will it work?

  1. could someone else build it from your drawings?
  2. what tools and machines are required for fabrication?
  3. are all standard components identified?
  4. are all materials identified?
  5. is it kinematically well-defined?
  6. how is friction managed?
  7. are the structural components appropriate for expected loads?
  8. are the actuators sized appropriately?
  9. are the transmission ratios appropriate?
  10. what kind of embedded computation is required?
  11. are the interface circuits appropriate?
  12. is the software control strategy plausible?
  13. what kind of power source is required?
  14. is there an estimate of overall cost?
  15. is there an estimate of overall fabrication time?

Criteria for a project review.  Is it a compelling idea?

  1. What is your two-sentence description of proposed behavior?
  2. What are the fundamental inputs and outputs?
  3. Is it autonomous?  (See below for additional prompts.)
  4. Is the outcome congruous with the complexity?
  5. Are the physical and computational dynamics complementary?

Is it autonomous?

  1. what does it do with no humans present?
  2. what does it do in an unfamiliar test environment?
  3. does it exhibit logic and memory?
  4. does the physical performance indicate an internal state?
  5. does the action change over time?
  6. how does it handle physical contact?
  7. can a goal or purpose be inferred by observation?  over what time scale?

Laser Cutter Tutorial and Qualification

Dave Touretsky has written very usable instructions for our IDeATe laser cutters.