Blog Posts

Gator Waves – Week of Oct. 18th

A screenshot taken during our PDR event on Wednesday

Our team mainly focused on the Preliminary Design Review this week. The event was scheduled for 2:00 PM on Wednesday, October 20th, and so leading up to the presentation, we spent time revising our report, making adjustments to our slide deck, and practicing our delivery. Additionally, on Monday the mechanical engineers of the team met to discuss the housing for the prototype and work on the 3D model.

On Wednesday morning, we had our weekly meeting with our liaison Dr. Subhash. We presented the 3D model of the prototype, as well as some of the solenoid equations and the control system model. We received feedback from him and our coach Dr. van Oostrom on some aspects of how we conduct our meetings. Moving forward, we will be making sure to be more thorough in our explanations and preparation, such as making sure to include units for all of our figures and equations.

Then on Wednesday afternoon, we held our PDR event. Our liaison Dr. Subhash, our coach Dr. van Oostrom, and the IPPD director Dr. Latorre-Navarro were in attendance. After presenting our preliminary design, we received questions and helpful feedback. Most notably, Dr. Subhash requested a bill of materials, and so moving forward Gator Waves will be sure to keep a more detailed record of purchases. After the presentation, we sent out a feedback memo explaining how we intend to act on the comments that we received. Moving forward, our team will be turning our focus to the design and assembly of our prototype.

Gator Waves – Week of Oct. 11th

Solenoid equations derived during the Wednesday whiteboard session

This week, our team focused on preparing for the PDR peer review. After completing our report and presentation slides, we sought feedback from our coach and practiced together. On Tuesday, we presented our PDR to three other teams (Addtronics, SimpliciTea, and Marine Animal TrackeR), and also listened to their presentations as well. During this event, we received valuable feedback on our PDR. We met with our coach on Tuesday evening to hear his thoughts about our presentation as well. Using all of the feedback we received, on Friday we were able to meet as a team and make the necessary adjustments to our presentation, including choosing a more visually appealing template and making the figures easier to read.

On Wednesday, the electrical engineers met to work on characterizing the solenoid with equations, and to learn how to interface with the ultrasonic ranger sensor and accelerometer that we received from IPPD. After a long whiteboard session, we were able to determine a set of equations that characterize the solenoid more accurately based on the properties and positioning of the coil and plunger. The resulting equations from that meeting are pictured above. On Sunday, the mechanical engineers plan to meet in order to solidify the housing design to the furthest extent it can currently be finalized. Moving into next week, our team has been making adjustments to the PDR report and practicing the presentation in preparation for the real PDR event with our liaison on Wednesday, October 20th.

Gator Waves – Week of Oct. 4th

A short clip of Ian testing a solenoid

Last Friday (10/1), our team was able to visit LDRAM. Unfortunately, the demonstration that was planned was experiencing some technical problems, but we were still able to speak with Dr. Subhash’s PhD students and learn more about the research performed in his lab, as well as what resources will be available to us from our sponsor. 

Over the weekend, we divided up the preliminary system architecture work to effectively complete a schematic, 3D model, and interactions table. We received feedback from our coach on our work and discussed it in more detail during our weekly Tuesday meeting. During that meeting, we also spoke with Dr. van Oostrom about our progress with our prototype, as well as our plans moving forward. On Wednesday we met with our liaison Dr. Subhash and discussed design options, some solenoid calculations that were made, and our plans for the PDR presentation. 

We also made progress with developing our prototype this week. Hunter was able to 3D print the shell of our solenoid, and we also received an order for insulated copper wire. This Friday, our team met to continue working on the PDR as well as the prototype. We were able to successfully move a nail within our preliminary solenoid, which can be seen in the video above. 

Gator Waves – Week of Sept. 27th

A picture from our team meeting this Monday, where we experimented with a strain gauge

To start off the week, we met as a team on Monday to finalize our initial Gantt chart and continue to discuss design options. Hunter was able to bring in a strain gauge and titanium bar from a previous course so that we could experiment with the set up and see what the measurements looked like.

On Tuesday, we had another team meeting to work on the first month report and prepare for our coach meeting later that day. After class, we spoke with Dr. van Oostrom about the adjustments we made to the Gantt chart based on his feedback, and we also discussed the contents of our first month report.

We met with our liaison Dr. Subhash on Wednesday morning to present our Gantt chart and discuss some decisions we have made regarding how we will be proceeding with the design (including the choice to design our own solenoids rather than purchase them off the shelf). We also discussed our upcoming visit to LDRAM that will be happening this Friday afternoon, where we will receive a demonstration from one of Dr. Subhash’s PhD students.

Moving forward, 3D modeling of components such as the millipede bar and housing are underway, as well as research into the design of our solenoids and the modeling of our control system.

Gator Waves – Week of Sept. 20th

An updated version of the Gator Waves logo

This past Sunday, we met as a team to further discuss possible designs and carry out some relevant calculations as requested by our liaison Dr. Subhash. Marissa created some pertinent diagrams to present to our liaison as well. In class on Tuesday, we had our professional headshots taken and were given advice regarding the upcoming career fair. After class, we met with our coach Dr. van Oostrom to discuss our progress in designing the switchbox. 

On Wednesday, we met with our liaison Dr. Subhash and presented the work we completed on Sunday. He gave us important feedback on our calculations and progress. Moving forward we will be focusing on a Gantt chart to better understand our project timeline. We will also be focusing on making design decisions to ensure that we remain on track. To achieve this, we held team meetings on Thursday and Friday of this week. Also, Mark was able to get us an updated version of our logo, as pictured above. 

Gator Waves – Week of Sept. 13th

Our Q&A session with Dr. Subhash

On Monday, we met as a team to complete our interactions model and discuss our plans for the week. In class on Tuesday, we presented our logo and project pitch to the class and received feedback that we will be incorporating moving forward. We also began to brainstorm different designs for aspects of the mechanical switchbox. After discussing a variety of sub-functions and customer requirements, we each individually drew a basic diagram of the switchbox. This revealed the differences in how we all conceptualized the device.

Using the design exercises we completed in class as a jumping off point, on Wednesday we had a Q&A session with our liaison Dr. Subhash to better understand some of the design constraints and expectations from our sponsor. Since the meeting, we have been delving into further research of certain design aspects of the switchbox, such as the solenoid. We are also in the process of making some calculations regarding the striker rods to present to Dr. Subhash at next week’s meeting.

Gator Waves – Week of Sept. 6th

A screenshot from one of our meetings this week

This week, our team began to further consider the stakeholders and requirements of our project.

We scheduled an additional meeting with our LDRAM liaison, Dr. Subhash, in order to ensure that we were on track with understanding our project. On Tuesday, we continued the discussion of the fundamental principles that the mechanical switch box is founded on. Then, after completing the stakeholder and specifications assignments during this week’s class, on Wednesday we began to delve into possible metrics for our project.

We also met as a team this Friday morning to discuss our Product Design Specifications and begin working on a draft. Moving forward, we are continuing to research different components that will be necessary for our design, such as the solenoid and striker rods.

Getting Started with Gator Waves

The current Gator Waves logo

This week, Team 6 has become team Gator Waves. We are a group of four mechanical engineers and two electrical engineers, and we are excited to be working with Dr. Subhash and the LDRAM for these next two semesters.  

After selecting a name and designing a preliminary logo, as a team we began to go over our initial understanding of what our project will entail. We discussed our SOW, problem statement, and potential stakeholders. After these discussions, we met with our liaison Dr. Subhash on Wednesday to introduce ourselves, get feedback on our team name and logo, and begin learning about the fundamental principles that our project is based on.  

This week, we also determined our current roles in the team and set up a regular meeting time to speak with our coach Dr. van Oostrom and receive his feedback on our progress. Moving forward, we will be reviewing some materials suggested by Dr. Subhash in preparation for our next meeting with him.