This week I carried out research on build diaries on the FRA forums and Youtube. In addition I started to look at light weight robot designs and identified the key requirements for my robot. The build diaries helped me realise the things I need to consider in my design and also help me identify trends in robot designs in the featherweight class.
The key design requirements of my robot are the following:
- Durable and easy to repair .
- Adaptable for future competitions.
- Easy to control as driving skill is something that is judged in FRA competitions. Plus if you can’t control the robot you won’t hit anything!
- Small frame and nimble to make the robot hard to hit thus reducing the risk of damage which reduces time to repair.
- Can fit off the shelf components to make it easier to build and repair.
- Safe to handle for inspection and repairs.
- Not complex , the more complex something is the bigger chance it can fail.
Some of these requirements would actually contradict each other which is a common issue in design and it is something designers need to overcome.
Luckily there is a tool called TRIZ which helps designers identifies design principles that will help remove or reduce the issues of these contradictions. Using TRIZ matrix is pretty simple all you need to match the thing you want to improve on the left hand side of the table against the issue you want to remove on the top row. Once you match each criteria you notice a set of numbers in the box which indicate TRIZ principles that would solve the contradiction.
From the TRIZ matrix some of the design ideas were developed.
- Make some parts nest within each other or orientate some parts on their side to maximise space utlisation.
- Use same components to carryout different tasks like use structure as part of the robots armour and weapons.
- Make interchangeable parts have adaptor plates where new components can be inserted into body.
- Add pours to structure to reduce weight and look to use pours to house components
In the next video I will cover my initial concept ideas.