By Will McKinney (Project Manager/Electronics and Controls)
Verification and Validation
Above shows our verification table. This was used to determine how well our project was built. The verification table was to be done in a lab environment. This is an effort to focus on meeting the requirements without having the course conditions affect the the rover. The lab provided a controlled environment to observe the performance of our rover.
From this we can tell where we went wrong in this project and where we succeeded. The main problem that we ran into with this project was the design of our wheels and treads. The treads would fall off of the wheels after a few feet of movement. This hindered us from completing our verification test of overcoming tree roots. This was a design problem that we should have changed before sending the wheels and tread out. The tread was made at a different spacing then the wheels. Also, the wheels were wider than the tread which caused them to have room to move. Aside from this we had another problem with the pan and tilt. Our servo that pans the horizon would make erratic movements. This caused problems when testing for the field of vision of our rover. We did have a lot of success in this project as well. We were able to design a rover that met the height requirements, communicated through bluetooth, moved at a speed of .5ft/sec while the treads stayed on, and was able to traverse over a block the size of a sprinkler head. It is important to note that one design mistake affected a very large portion of our project which was the validation segment. The Validation table is shown below.
The goal of these validation tests were to see if the rover completes the mission of simulating a soldier crawling through that barbed wire course. In order to simulate a soldier on this course the rover would need to move at the speed of a soldier, operate under the height of barbed wire, maneuver over obstacles that a soldier would encounter, and last the entirety of the course. Each of these actions were to be tested on the course with multiple tests. For example, the speed would be tested using three different methods with varying difficulties. We would start testing the rovers speed on dirt, then move to testing the speed on leaves, and end with a speed test in rainy conditions.
The validation tests above were hindered by the fact that we could not keep our treads on, even in a lab environment. If the treads would not stay in tact in a lab environment, there would be no chance of completing the requirements on the course. The height requirement was able to be met but the other validation requirements needed the tracks to stay on the wheels.