Sep 162018

The brainstorming process for customer requirements is presented in Figure 1.5 below.

Figure 1.5: Brainstorming customer requirements

The first customer requirement is that the device functions as intended. This is important to the Vayuvians, Professors, Audience, and the Team Members. If the device does not function as intended, then a base line of satisfaction cannot be reached. The score will be used to determine whether the device functions as intended. A good score indicates the device preformed properly, while if the device did not at all function as intended, the score will reflect this. The next customer requirement is that the device can drive for at least 1 lap. This is a requirement set forth by the professors, and therefore is also a requirement the team members demand we meet. The metric to measure whether this requirement is met is the number of laps completed. If that value is greater than 1, then the requirement is met. However, we are aiming for as many laps as possible, setting 1 lap at first is important in order to be able to aim for more. After we meet the 1 lap requirement, making the robot more efficient for the coming laps would become easier.

The requirement to be able to store wind energy in under 5 minutes is a requirement set forth by the professors, and therefore is also a requirement the team members demand we meet. The metric to measure this requirement is the number of Joules/minute that are stored in our storage device. This adequately measures the effectiveness and timeliness in storing energy. We are choosing to work in the SI units since we, as a team, feel more comfortable using the metric system dues to its universal nature. We are using per minute metric because we believe per second would be quite hard to measure, while minutes would be easier. It is a project requirement that the device cost less than US$100. This is a requirement set forth by the professors, and therefore is also a requirement the team members demand we meet. The metric for measuring this is cost of the device in dollars. The requirement will be met if that value is less than US$100. As we continue with the project, we will be making sure that we keep the cost in mind at all times, so that we do not exceed it.

The requirement that the device have a low weight is one that is important to the team members and Vayuvians so that the device can be as efficient as possible. It may be of interest to the professors because they can build on the design and use it to power more heavier vehicles. Lowering the weight increases the weight that can be carried, and the distance that can be driven. The metric to measure this is the weight of the vehicle in grams. Minimizing this metric will effectively fulfil this requirement. Once chose grams over kilograms for precision. Again, we chose to go forward with SI units. Although, since we do not have any prototypes, we do not want to set a number yet. Our just goal is to minimize it as much as possible, so that our robot can go further. The requirement that the device be efficient that is important to the team members and Vayuvians so that the device can carry as much weight as possible, and the device can drive as far as possible. The metric to measure efficiency will be the ratio of the energy stored to the energy that actually produces forward motion. Maximizing this value will effectively fulfil this requirement. Once again, we do not have set a value yet because we do not have a prototype yet.

Reliability is an important requirement for the team members, Vayuvians, and the professors. The team members, professors, and Vayuvians will not be pleased or impressed if the device only functions correctly once or twice. For Vayuvians relying on it for transportation, it could leave them stranded. For professors and team members, it could fail at competition, which would result in a poor grade. The metric to measure reliability will be the ratio of the number of times it breaks to the number of times it is run. This will show the frequency with which it is rendered inoperable by normal use. Minimizing this value will effectively fulfil this requirement. The requirement to carry as large a load as possible is important to the team members and Vayuvians. For the team members, a large payload means a large score. For Vayuvians, it means a more useful vehicle. We will use the grams of payload successfully carried to measure how well this requirement is met. Maximizing this value will effectively fulfil this requirement.

The requirement to standardize the parts and attachment methods is important for the team members, and for Vayuvians who choose to perform maintenance on their own vehicles. By implementing standardization, it will save the team unnecessary work, and allow us to focus on tasks more critical to the success of the device. For Vayuvians, it will be an appreciated feature that performing maintenance is easy. The metric to measure this will be the number of tools needed to assemble the device. Assuming a different tool is required for each attachment method, minimizing the number of tools needed to assemble the device will indicate that the device has high standardization.  The requirement to keep the design simple is important for the team members. By implementing a simple design, it will save the team unnecessary work, and allow us to focus on tasks more critical to the success of the device. We will use the number of parts on the device to measure the simplicity of the device. Minimizing this value will effectively fulfil this requirement. We will also use the number of hours of production to measure simplicity. A simple device will not take as long to manufacture. Minimizing this value will also effectively fulfil this requirement.

The requirement to be able to hot swap parts is important for the team members, and for Vayuvians who choose to perform maintenance on their own vehicles. By being able to hot swap parts, it will allow us to easily replace parts should they break. This will allow us to spend more time in useful testing. For Vayuvians, it will be an appreciated feature that performing maintenance is easy. The metric to measure whether the parts are easily swapped will be to measure the average time it takes to swap out any part in minutes. Faster swaps mean that the parts are easy and simple to swap. Minimizing this value will effectively fulfil this requirement. For Vayuvians, it will be important that the device be easy to use so that the average Vayuvian can operate it with minimal training. For the team members, having the device be easy to use will allow any of us to operate it, should one of us be unable to attend a meeting. We will measure how easy the device is to use by the number of steps required to setup the device. A child can use a device that only needs a single step to turn on. Minimizing this value will effectively fulfil this requirement.

It is a project requirement that the device fit on the track. This is a requirement set forth by the professors, and therefore is also a requirement the team members demand we meet. In addition, having the device able to easily maneuver the track will increase the team members’ score. The metric for this requirement is the dimensions of a 2-D box that could completely contain the footprint of the device. As there is only lateral restriction on dimension via the walls, and not a vertical restriction it makes sense to only consider the footprint. Minimizing this value will effectively fulfil this requirement.

Pranav Mohan

Change and progress are two words that define my character and my ultimate goals. I have a vision to bring a global change by targeting the psychology, because that is the easiest to change. My aim is to incur a self-progressive routine for myself and then help the people around me to progress themselves. In my perspective, walking towards a defined target should be everyone’s goal while keeping in mind that things don’t go as planned but still the target should remain unchanged.


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