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Student Paper: Small Team Agile Systems Engineering For Rapid Prototyping of Robotic Systems

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Student Division Development of Professional Skills Technical Session

Tagged Division

Student

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--28863

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28863

Download Count

476

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Paper Authors

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Charles Avery Noren Texas A&M University Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory

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Charles Noren is an undergraduate research assistant at the Texas A&M University Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory and task leader for the rail-based robotic system project. He is expected to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering in May of 2018, and plans to continue his education at Texas A&M University with a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering.

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Kendra Lynne Andersen Texas A&M University

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Kendra Andersen is an undergraduate student in electrical engineering, graduating from Texas A&M University in May 2018. She plans to work in the aerospace industry after graduation, and takes language courses in order to accomplish her ambition of becoming a polyglot.

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Kanika Gakhar Texas A&M University Vehicle Systems and Control Laboratory

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Kanika Gakhar is an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Advanced Vertical Flight Lab at Texas A&M University. She is currently pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering and plans to graduate in May 2018.

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Angela Olinger Texas A&M University

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Angela Olinger is an undergraduate mechanical engineering student at Texas A&M University graduating in May 2018. She plans on completing her Master's of Science degree after graduation before going on to work with materials design in the space industry. She is also a classically trained ballet dancer and continues to enjoy dancing and choreographing.

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Preetam Palchuru Texas A&M University Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory

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Preetam Palchuru is an Undergraduate student studying at Texas A&M University. He will graduate in May 2018 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. He currently works at the Vehicle Systems and Control Laboratory as an undergraduate researcher. After finishing his undergraduate education, he plans on getting a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering.

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Scott Thien Tran Texas A&M University Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory

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Scott Tran is an undergraduate research assistant at the Texas A&M University Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory. Expected to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in May 2018.

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John Valasek Texas A&M University

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John Valasek is the Thaman Professor of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence, and Director, Center for Autonomous Vehicles and Sensor Systems (CANVASS), Director, Vehicle Systems & Control Laboratory, Professor of Aerospace Engineering, and member of the Honors Faculty at Texas A&M University. He teaches courses in Aircraft Design, Atmospheric Flight Mechanics, Modern Control of Aerospace Systems, Vehicle Management Systems, and Cockpit Systems & Displays. John created the senior/graduate level course AERO 445 Vehicle Management Systems, which was the first regularly offered course on this topic in a U.S. aerospace engineering department.

John earned the B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 1986 and the M.S. degree with honors and the Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas, in 1990 and 1995 respectively.

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Abstract

In light of complex engineering challenges, new approaches to the rapid development of systems must be established in order to quickly and accurately address the requested engineering need. In particular, vehicular and robotic system design requires the integration of both hardware and software, necessitating a vast skill set covering a variety of engineering and scientific disciplines. In order to design, build, test and implement solutions to real world problems, the many facets of the engineering challenge must be deeply scrutinized. The particular case study which will be investigated in this study, and the reason for the creation of this engineering team, is the development of a rail-based robotic system.

An agile systems engineering spiral development approach provides a variety of benefits in the development of complex engineering systems. As such, a cross-functional team consisting of an equal balance of engineers from Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering Departments was selected to address the challenged associated with the aforementioned robotic system. The interdisciplinary nature of the team allowed for the exploration of different requirements while occasionally challenging discipline -specific norms. With close inspection in the preliminary stages, the overhead associated with individual component integration can be minimized to ensure maximized time for testing and evaluation.

In addition to the multidisciplinary approach, a small team allows for quick response to the dynamic requirements and evaluation criteria most systems encounter. Unlike large teams that often face problems associated with passive "group-think" patterns, this program was restricted to a small number of engineers in order to implement an actively dynamic check and balance system.

In order to develop an effective system, special consideration must be given to the requirements, integration, and installation of each system component. Unlike goal-oriented development, spiral development allows each aspect of the engineering process to contribute towards the final product on a continuous basis. With a small team, individual responsibility and contribution provides a crucial role in the development of the system, and each individual develops his or her skill set due to the increased responsibility. Finally, a multidisciplinary team allows for unique learning and development opportunities for the team members and a better solution to the engineering need. It is the benefits of this approach that have allowed for the development of a rail-based robotics system designed to more accurately address the customer’s need. This paper presents the results and analysis of the effectiveness and performance of this structure during an industry sponsored project, including lessons learned and recommendations for future small team Agile systems engineering projects.

Noren, C. A., & Andersen, K. L., & Gakhar, K., & Olinger, A., & Palchuru, P., & Tran, S. T., & Valasek, J. (2017, June), Student Paper: Small Team Agile Systems Engineering For Rapid Prototyping of Robotic Systems Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28863

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