Business Plan - University of Guelph

thunderclingAI and Robotics

Nov 13, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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UGRT

Business Plan

University of Guelph Robotics Team




Fall 2012/Winter 2013









Table of Contents

Overview

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1

Project

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1

Project Development Plan

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2

Team Development Plan

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3

Promotion

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4

Financial Plan

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5

Conclusion
s

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7



Overview


The University of Guelph
has recently expanded its School of Engineering
which

include
s the

Mechanical Engineering program. To compliment to this program, many new and
exciting courses are being offered in
the area of
mechatronics. In addition, by introducing the
mechatronics stream,
M
echanical
and ES&C
engineering students have the option to spe
cialize
in this stream, which focuses on advanced mechatronics systems

including robotics, estimation,
and control
.

As a group of highly motivated undergraduate students, we are

v
ery interested in gaining
hands
-
on experience and applying theo
ries learned
in the classroom to

robotic systems. As such,
with the help of Professor Biglarbegian, we have established

the University of Guelph Robotics
Team

(UGRT)

in November 2011
.

Since

then the team has rapidly advanced in designing robots

and has showcased these robots at

campus
events such as
College Royal
,
and the
SOE Opening
Ceremonies
.
The robotics t
eam is

targeted towards Engineering
S
ystems

& Computing and
Mechanical Engineering

students;

however,

it

is not limited to

these disciplin
es. Prof.
Biglarbegian will be the faculty advisor for the team and will oversee the teams operations.
More
importantly, the UGRT will bring students from different disciplines and different
years

together
to be able to efficiently work together towards bu
ilding robots.

We are very confident that the robotics team will provide a great opportunity to
strengthen our engineering skills that will help broaden our practical experiences in future.

The
UGRT for coming school year consists of the following undergr
aduate students:

Jon Walsh

Padraic Griffin

Evan Walsh

Josh Bravin

Shehzad Khan

Eric Kassabian

Anjuli Nason

Ryan Myers

Curtis Duquette

Brian Camnzu

Marco Conflitti

Jake Gillson

Julian Dileonardo

Brandon Rozo

Ben Corcoran

Adam Borecki




Project

For the coming academic year (Fall 2012/Winter 2013) the UGRT has selected the
Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition

(IGVC)

as the senior robotics compet
ition
for

the teams
design project
.
The IGVC

is
a prestigious
international competition which is held annually,

offers a design experience that is at the cutting edge of engineering education. It is
a
m
ultidisciplinary, theory
-
based, hands
-
on, team implemented, outcome assessed, and based on
product realization

compe
tition
.
The IGVC

encompasses the very latest technologies impacting
industrial development and taps subjects of high interest to students. The deadline of an end
-
of
-
term competition is a real
-
world constraint that includes the excitement of potential
ly

winning
recognition and financial gain.

Students at all levels of undergraduate and graduate education can contribute to the team
effort, and those at the lower levels benefit greatly from the experience and mentoring of those at
higher levels. Team organ
ization and leadership are practiced, and there are even roles for team
members from business and engin
eering management, language, graphic arts

and public
relations.

Project Development Plan

As the

team has been recently

formed
,

we realize that there ar
e

many challenges to meet
to successfully compete in the IGVC in June 2013. However, with careful

plan
ning we aim to
reduce the number

of s
tart
-
up issues and focus on
developing our knowled
ge and skill sets for
the IGVC. T
he team has

developed

a tentative

schedule which we will use as a guide to
keep the
IGVC project on track and ensure successful development. Table 1, presents a schedule of dates
for the design

and build

of the IGVC robot.


Table 1: Schedule of Dates for IGVC Robot Development

Task

Date

Initial Brainstorm and Resea
r
ch

04/05/2012
-

14/05/2012

Mechanical Design

14/05/2012
-

28/05/2012

Advanced Mechanical and Hardware Design

28/05/2012
-

11/06/2012

Systems and Electrical Design

11/
0
6
/2012
-

25/
0
6
/2012

Advanced Systems and Electrical
Design

25/
0
6
/2012
-

25/
0
7
/2012

Systems Integration

25/
0
7
/2012
-

1/
0
8
/2012

Prototype
Report Write Up

01/
0
8
/2012
-

14/
0
8
/2012

Simulation and Mechanical Pre
-
build

14/
0
8
/2012
-

04/
0
9
/2012

Robot Platform Build

04/
10
/2012
-

10/
10
/2012

Electric Wiring

10/
10
/2012
-

10/
1
1
/2012

Sensor Configuration

10/
1
1
/2012
-

01/01/2012

Software and Hardware Integration

01/01/2013
-

15/03/2013

System Testing

15/03/2013
-

01/05/2013


Team
Development Plan

The
final goal of the UGRT is
to
establish a strong robotics
program

on campus

in order

to design and build autonomous mobile r
obots with advanced features to
participate

in
prestigious

competitions
,

such as the
IGVC.
In order to complete this objective the team must
ensure that a solid knowledge base i
s built and
passed on from year
-
to
-
year within the team.

In
order to facilitate team organization and ensure longevity the founding UGRT members have
developed a constitution that sets out the goals, administrative structure and policies of the
UGRT. See Appendix I fo
r the full UGRT Constitution.

To develop the skills necessary to contribute to a senior design team, the UGRT plans on
holding an annual Development Competition where new members will design and build a small
maze
-
navigating robot. The competition will be
held within a larger university event such as
College Royal to help further promote the School of Engineering and provide a fun atmosphere
for the team members.

The development competition will divide new members into two teams (or more) who
will have to w
ork within a set budget and other constraints to design and build a robot capable of
navigating a given maze in the shortest time possible. Guidance and mentoring will be provided
by senior team members. This project will allow junior team members to build

a solid knowledge
base on the hardware required, programming skills and implementation required for robotics
projects.

Promotion

UGRT has set in place an outline of a
promotion
strategy, described below, which will
allow the team to promote itself and
seek sponsorship from local industries in order to fund the
teams major project,

the

IGVC

competition
. The

team requests funding from the School of
Engineering and hopes to augment this funding with the sponsorship acquired.

UGRT will represent the School
of Engineering at a number of campus events such as
College Royal, Campus Day and others. This will enable the team to promote itself to

the
student

population
, potential sponsors
,
the university

and the
community. These events will
display the latest
te
am developments in
robots and provide demonstrations for spectators

to
encourage interest in robotics and engineering
.

The team members have also developed a UGRT website to provide updates and promote
the team (
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~ugrt/
). The team will be promoted

through publications such
as OSNAP, the Ontarion, and the School of Engineering’s website highlighting the team’s
progress and upcoming events.


Financial Plan

T
o operate the UGRT

in terms of equ
ipment and material
,
as well as
achiev
ing

the

stated

objectives
,

and participat
ing

in

the IGVC
,

the team
is in

need of financial support
,
as
outlined in
Table
2
.
We

hope the UGRT
could
develop an annual operating budget through which
it could
be able
to
run the team. Depending on operating costs for the inaugural year
,

the team will adjust
its annu
al funding request as required.

Table 1 summarizes the operating costs for running the
UGRT annually.

Table
2
: UGRT Operating Costs

IGVC Competition

$16,5
00

Development Program

$500

Promotion

$250

TOTAL

FUNDING REQUEST:

$17,2
50


The projected component costs

for the IGVC project
,

outlined in Table
3
, were
determined through the evaluation of costs of
other teams IGVC robots, which include major
components required for the competition
. It should be noted that the
first year

start
-
up capital

costs of the IGVC competition is very high due to the need to acquire some very expensive

sensors
. It is worth mentioning that these items

will be purchased on
ly once and
will be re
-
used
from year
-
to
-
year by the team. These include the differential GPS and SICK Laser Scanner with
a combined projected cost of $9500, representing more than half of the first year budget.



Table
3:

IGVC Competition Costs

Design
Component

Cost ($)

Chassis Materials & Constructi
on

$500

Wheels & Suspension

$250

Motors & Controllers

$1500

Onboard Computer

$1
500

Differential GPS

$5000

Onboard Camera

$500

Power Supply (Batteries & Electronics)

$1250


Microcontrollers (Motor
Controllers, etc.)

$750

SICK Laser Sensor

$4500

Miscellaneous Components

(Sensors,
Actuators, Converters)

$750

TOTAL ESTIMATED COST

$16,500


Conclusion
s


The UGRT aspires to develop a strong robotics program within the School of
Engineering to
represent the University of Guelph and promote both mechatronics and robotics
within the community. It will also attract people from different disciplines and enable them to
work together. While the event is fun, it also requires the team to gain advanced
knowledge in
mechatronics. The development of an autonomous mobile robot to compete in the IGVC in June
2013 is the goal for the inaugural robotics team which the team is requesting funding from the
School of Engineering. The founding members of the team f
eel that with the support of faculty
advisor Dr. Mohammad Biglarbegian and the School of Engineering that this can be a beneficial
and educational endeavour for all involved.