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LEGO 2014


To most people, a robot may seem like an incredibly sophisticated device and something that is too difficult to try to understand.  In reality, robots are often quite simple.  They have their physical parts and then they have the programs that run them from their computer 'brains'.  They are programmed to respond (output) in information they receive (input).  They may be given direct instructions (turn motors B and C for 10 seconds, then turn only motor #1 for 5 seconds) or they may be given instructions that only happen under certain conditions (if button A is pressed, turn motor A forwards, otherwise, turn motor A backwards.)  

Situation Specific

Our client, the Kool Kat Company is looking to introduce a robotic cat toy into their product lineup. Your design teams will each design and create a robotic cat toy prototype to present to the client. 

Getting Started

You may want to have a look at the following web pages to see if they help you get a better understanding of some of the underlying principles of structural design: (You will need to download a file from this one.)

Next, you can have a look at these pages to see if they help you get a better understanding of some of the underlying principles of programming:


The Project

Criterion A: Inquiring and Analysing

i. Explain and justify the need for a solution to a problem.

Write a paragraph that outlines the needs that this product is intending to address. Who needs a robotic cat toy? What?

ii. Construct a research plan, which states and prioritizes the primary and secondary research needed to develop a solution to the problem.

What will you need to know in order to do this project? Where will you look for information? Explain 3 or 4 sources that you plan to consult to help you move forward.

iii. Analyse a group of similar products that inspire a solution to the problem.

What examples of robotic cat toys can you find that are already on the market? Present 3 or 4 that you have found and analyse each one. What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of each?

iv. Develop a design brief, which presents the analysis of relevant research. 

This should be fairly similar for most of you. What are you going to make? Who is it for? Why is this a project worth doing? (Imagine that you are trying to sell this idea of a robotic cat toy to the Kool Kat company. Why would they want to bring such a product to market? Who will want to buy it? Why?

Criterion B: Developing Ideas

i. Develop a design specification which outlines the success criteria for the design of a solution based on the data collected.

What will a successful robotic cat toy need to include? Come up with 5-7 Design Specifications. Each one should read something like, "The robotic cat toy must..."

ii. Present a range of feasible design ideas, which can be correctly interpreted by others.

Include well-labeled pencil drawings for at least 3 design ideas. Write a short paragraph for each one to explain what it does and how it works and list its strengths and weaknesses.

iii. Present the chosen design and outline the reasons for its selection. 
iv. Develop accurate planning drawings/diagrams and outline requirements for the creation of the chosen solution.

Present your final design as a clean and neat diagram (use a ruler!) with all the circles and arrows needed to explain your idea. Write a paragraph to explain your choice.

Criterion C: Creating the Solution

i. Construct a logical plan, which outlines the efficient use of time and resources, sufficient for peers to be able to follow to create the solution.

Explain how you made your robotic cat toy, step-by-step. You will want to take pictures along the way.

ii. Demonstrate excellent technical skills when making the solution.

Record a short video of your robot cat toy in action. Include it in your blog post. You will also present to the class.

iii. Follow the plan to create the solution, which functions as intended and is presented appropriately.
iv. Explain changes made to the chosen design and the plan when making the solution.

Compare the drawing you did at the end of the Developing Ideas phase to what you have now. How close is it? Why or why not?

Criterion D: Evaluating

i. Describe detailed and relevant testing methods, which generate accurate data, to measure the success of the solution.

How will you know if you came up with a successful design? Explain how you plan to find out?

ii. Explain the success of the solution against the design specification.

Revisit your Design Brief and your Design Specifications. How closely does it fulfil them? Explain in a paragraph.

iii. Describe how the solution could be improved.

Be specific. What changes would you make to improve it? After exams, you will have a chance to improve this so what you write here is very important. The things ou say you would like to change, you will have to figure out how to do when we get back to it.

iv. Describe the impact of the solution on the client/target audience.

Will this be a success in the market? Why or why not?