Coaching Questions Group 15

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To help your group and the teachers prepare for the tutor meetings, we would like you to answer a few questions in between sessions. The following paragraphs list the questions for each of the weeks, please write you answers directly underneath the questions.


After the kick-off - Week 1

  • What are you expecting to learn during the Robots course?
    • Performing research to find the current state of art, and expanding from there.
    • Modeling a problem, and applying user expectancies to find a fitting solution.
    • How to learn from published experiences.
    • Working together in an interdisciplinary team.
  • What kind of coaching do you expect?
    • Critical questions to guide our process.
    • Help with in-depth technical questions, when necessary.
    • Feedback on our wiki page.
  • What kind of coaching would you prefer?
    • Feedback on the feasibility of our plans.
    • We would prefer a hands-off approach as long as we are doing well, but if we are getting off track we would like the coaches to step in.
  • What will the coaches expect of you?
    • To work like a professional team
    • To deliver work on time
    • Show initiative


After the first tutor meeting - Week 2

  • What is the most interesting thing you learned in the coaching meeting of the previous week and why?

Our proposed problem was not in line with USE principles, and did not have a clear deliverable. Additionally, we were warned that our 'programming challenge' could easily become either a trivial or an almost impossible problem to solve.

These are the most interesting aspects that we took home from the tutor meeting in week 2, since they lead us to mostly redesign and plan our project.

  • How did you incorporate coaches' feedback of the previous meeting in your project? & What new activities did you undertake during this week? What did you learn from these activities?

We reconsidered our approach and decided to take more time to reorient ourselves, and put the USE aspects first before our solution. We started more research on the exact causes and aspects of the litter problem, and will use this to arrive at an exact user or societal problem which we will attempt to solve.

  • What did you do to prepare for next week's meeting?

For next week's meeting (week 3), we wish to present our new approach and review it with the tutors.

We have held a meeting, and updated our wiki page accordingly.


After the second tutor meeting - Week 3

  • What is the most interesting thing you learned in the coaching meeting of the previous week and why?

The most interesting thing we learned during the coaching meeting was that our schedule incorporated too much literature research and that we should decide sooner rather than later over the exact direction we want to go in, regarding our robot design.

  • How did you incorporate coaches' feedback of the previous meeting in your project?

Their feedback made us focus more on determining what exactly are we going to design and how, instead of endless literature research.

  • What new activities did you undertake during this week? What did you learn from these activities?

The specifications of the robot, that we will design, have been determined. The design tasks of the robot have been distributed among the members of the group and a small start has been made to these tasks.

  • What did you do to prepare for next week's meeting?

We will present the specifications of the robot that we will design, along with the planning of who will work on which part of the robot and review this new plan with the tutors.


After the third tutor meeting - Week 4

  • What is the most interesting thing you learned in the coaching meeting of the previous week and why?

The most interesting thing that we learned during the previous coaching meeting was that our goal to design an entire robot would be too complex and have no way of showing that it could actually work in the real world. This was interesting, because it made us aware that we should focus more on specific parts of the robot.

  • How did you incorporate coaches' feedback of the previous meeting in your project?

We incorporated the coaches' feedback by instead of trying to design an entire beach cleaning robot, we will redirect our focus to the energy consumption part of the problem.

  • What new activities did you undertake during this week? What did you learn from these activities?

We started determining the power consumption of the robot, in particular the power consumption of the locomotion and litter collection. We also started investigating different battery types. Furthermore we started writing the simulation in C++.

  • What did you do to prepare for next week's meeting?

For next week's meeting we made our wiki-page up to date and have prepared some questions, in particular regarding the parameters in our optimization process.


After the fourth tutor meeting - Week 5

  • What is the most interesting thing you learned in the coaching meeting of the previous week and why?

We are finally on the right track, but need to keep in mind that our 'product' should be interesting/sold to a theoretical company.

  • How did you incorporate coaches' feedback of the previous meeting in your project?

One of the coaches had a good suggestion for the simulation, namely making the user interface see what the robot thinks, rather than what is actually happening, this has been implemented.

  • What new activities did you undertake during this week? What did you learn from these activities?

We improved the simulation and researched various algorithms for the searching part. We learned that implementing the algorithms in the search algorithm are more difficult then expected, and therefore some more time is needed for this part. The way the camera should detect litter and how accurate this will be has also been researched and will be implemented in the simulation. Furthermore certain subparts have been worked out with their energy considerations, for example the locomotion. Besides, the structure of the electrical circuit has been worked out.

  • What did you do to prepare for next week's meeting?

For next week's meeting we made our wiki-page up to date and have prepared some questions.


After the fifth tutor meeting - Week 6

  • What is the most interesting thing you learned in the coaching meeting of the previous week and why?

We learned the details of what would need to be delivered, and what the time management of our presentation should roughly be like.

  • How did you incorporate coaches' feedback of the previous meeting in your project? / What new activities did you undertake during this week? What did you learn from these activities?

We updated our simulation to make the interface more like what the operator would see. It is more clear what is visible to the robot and how it operates. Additionally, a results dialog was implemented and more tweakable parameters were added. We also finished some subsystems and wrote a section on human interaction.

  • What did you do to prepare for next week's meeting?

We started working on the presentation for week 7, and finishing the model to show it off.


After the final presentation - Week 7

  • What are the major steps of the project? Please list
    • Defining the objective and approach
    • Literature research
    • Design process
    • Requirements and specifications
    • Subsystems with calculations and estimates for the model
    • Human interaction
    • Model and simulation
    • Results from simulation
    • Conclusions
  • What is the most important thing you learned in this project? (e.g .about design or working in groups, etc)

Most importantly, our planned project was too far from the state of the art. At first, we wanted to design an entire robot but we quickly found out that this would be biting off more than we could chew. We eventually arrived at several aspects which we would model and simulate.

  • What do you wish you had spent more time on or done differently?

It took several weeks to narrow down our project and steer it in the right direction. We were too quick to want to start working, and at first would have created a fairly useless model. After that, we planned to do an entire robot design which would have been impossible to prove.

We wish we took a bit more time at first to review what is feasible as research. This would have reduced the time lost in the first couple of weeks.

  • What was the most enjoyable part of this project? Please explain why

The most enjoyable part of this project was writing the model for simulation. We enjoy programming, and this was a nice way to apply our research to a functional program.

  • What was the least enjoyable part of this project? Please explain why

The least enjoyable part of this project was the (literary) research. This was a lot of work, and quite tedious.

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