RoboRugby Sample Interim Report - DOC

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					                           RoboRugby Interim Report


Author:                    Michael Mouse               Student Number:      06 123 456

Co-workers:                Alice Bird and Tom Cat

Team Number:               22

Team Name:                 The Invincibles



            Introduction
This report describes the design process and the decisions made by our team so far. It
gives details of the strategies which we considered, and describes the reasons why we
believe our chosen strategy is the one most likely to lead to success in the competition.

At this point, we have also made some of the early design decisions, and details of those
are also included. We have also made some preliminary decisions on the distribution of
work among the team members, and on the time which we should allow for each part of
the work.

      This is a sample of what an interim report might look like. Please do NOT
      copy it! Most of the descriptions are very brief, and have large gaps.

      Notice that the formatting of the paragraphs and headings is done using
      Styles in Microsoft Word. I defined this blue italic style and called it
      “Comment”. You can apply it to any paragraph by choosing it in the menu
      box on the Formatting toolbar at the top of the screen (in Word 2000).

      Put the cursor in one of the headings to see which style is used there. If you
      do not like the way the headings look, just re-define the format for the style,
      and all the headings which use that style will change automatically.

      Note that Heading 1 is the top-level heading – for example, a chapter
      heading. I have only used it once, for the entire document. Within each
      “chapter”, there will be lower-level sections, using Heading 2, and within
      those, sub-sections using Heading 3, and so on. It is important to use the
      headings in this way if you want to generate a table of contents
      automatically.

      If you do not understand styles in Word, and you want to format your
      document the hard way, do NOT start with this document! Start with a new
      blank document where every paragraph will have the “normal” style. You
      can then format the paragraphs individually to make them look the way you
      want.


RoboRugby Interim Report               Michael Mouse                                     1
            Strategy
We considered many strategies for winning the RoboRugby competition. Some of these
were rejected early in the design process, as being either unlikely to succeed or too
complex to implement. The surviving strategies are discussed below:

Divide and Conquer
In this strategy, our robot would ... Having done this, it would ... and ..., leaving the
opposing robot with no opportunity to score.

      More detail here, to explain the concept clearly to the reader...

The main advantage of this plan is its simplicity. Even with our limited programming
skills, we felt that we should be able to implement it in the time available.

The main disadvantage is that it depends on the other robot not ... for the first 15
seconds of the match. If the other robot did ... then ... and the plan would fail.

Might is Right
This strategy involves building a very strong and heavy robot. This would allow us to...

      More details, advantages and disadvantages as above...

Speed Kills
      Continue with other potential strategies as above...

Our Plan
We have decided to continue the design process with the xxx strategy above, as we feel
that, on the whole, this has the best chance of success. However, we are also keeping in
mind the yyy strategy, as an alternative if xxx proves too difficult to implement.

xxx has a number of advantages which make it attractive: ...

In the ranking round, we will use a slightly different algorithm which... This will save
some time, and increase the number of balls we can score.

The only type of strategy which might beat xxx is one which ... We feel that such a
strategy would be difficult to implement well, and is unlikely to be adopted by any of
the other teams.

We have also considered, as an example, what might happen if two robots used the xxx
strategy. Assuming both robots were well designed and built, and of approximately
equal speed, we would expect to see each robot succeed in the first part of its strategy.
However, on returning to the centre of the table, the two robots would collide
somewhere near the red ball. This would probably knock the red ball from its position,
so even if both robots recovered from the collision it would be difficult for either of
them to find the red ball. etc. etc.

Overall, such an encounter would probably lead to a match tied on points, with each
robot scoring ... Tie-break rule ... would probably decide the result, depending on ...

RoboRugby Interim Report              Michael Mouse                                         2
            Robot Design
For the xxx strategy which we have chosen, the most important feature of our robot
must be its ... If we do not get this right, the robot will not be able to ... and the strategy
will fail.

We also want our robot to be fast, so that it can score a few points reliably before the
other robot has time to move the balls. With this in mind, we want to keep the robot as
light as possible, without compromising too much on strength. Our plan involves
avoiding collisions, and not bashing the other robot to death, so we do not need a strong,
heavy robot.

Also, we do not plan to collect or push a large number of balls, so we do not need a
large robot. We feel that if we build a small, light and fast robot, we can achieve our
aims more effectively. A smaller robot has less chance of colliding with the opposing
robot.



            Design Choices
At this stage, we have decided on the basic framework for our robot, as shown in the
sketch below. Note the ... at the front, which is important to allow us to ...

      Sketch or photograph here ? If provided by co-worker, acknowledge!

To get our robot to move as fast as possible, we have decided to use the large wheels.
We experimented with different gear ratios, and found that a reduction of 1:n was a
good compromise. It is easily fast enough – our robot can travel the length of the
competition table in 3.5 seconds. It is also reasonably strong ...

To keep the robot light and manoeuvrable, we decided to use just one castor wheel, at
the rear. So far, this is working well, but we still have to add xxx to our robot. When
the robot is complete, we will re-adjust the position of the Handyboard to get the centre
of gravity in the right place. We do not want too much weight on the castor wheel,
which is relatively weak. On the other hand, we do not want our robot to tip forwards
when it tries to stop – this could cause false readings from the distance sensors.

      More on design choices...



            Software
So far, we have only an outline of the structure of our competition program, as shown in
below. We have started programming the first part of the strategy, but this is not yet
complete. We will omit yyy in the ranking round, as explained above.

      Flow chart or English description of algorithm (if available) ?




RoboRugby Interim Report               Michael Mouse                                        3
            Project Plan
The main tasks which we have to complete are:

        design the zzz mechanism to implement the second part of our strategy;

        finish building the robot;

        write the program to make it perform as we intend.

Our rough estimates of the time involved are:

    Task                                       Wk. 8      Wk. 9      Wk. 10     Wk. 11

    Design zzz mechanism

    Complete building

    Program & test


So far, we have been working together as a team. However, in order to complete these
tasks in the limited time available, we will have to work on different tasks in parallel, as
shown in the table above.

We have agreed that Tom and I will be the main programmers, but Tom will work on
the design of the zzz mechanism initially, while I start programming the basic
operations which we will need. When the zzz is complete, Tom and I will work
together on the programming.

In the meantime, Alice will finish building the robot, and fitting the all the sensors
which we need. To allow the basic programs to be tested, we will need the bump
sensors as soon as possible, and the line detector in week 9. When she has finished, she
will help with the programming, but will also look after any changes to the robot
structure which are needed later.



            Conclusion
I have outlined the work of our team on the design process to date. We have chosen a
strategy, and are well advanced on the design of the robot. We have an outline structure
for our program, but have not written much of the program yet. We will be giving
priority to programming from now on.

      At this stage, there is not much to put in this section, as there are no real
      conclusions yet. That will change in the final report...




RoboRugby Interim Report              Michael Mouse                                      4
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