This semester I will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to compete in the finals of an intenational student design competition.
Unlike any other experience in my life, this will be my chance to prove myself at a level I never imagined I would make it to.
After a long summer of some difficult classes and a much needed vacation, I am less than 10 days away from the start of the fall semester. And this semester will be vastly different from any other, in new and exciting ways.
Firstly, I will only be taking one course this semester: a course in PLC’s and Industrial Robotics. This will leave me with the majority of my time to devote to preparing for the competition in November.
This blog is an experiment. I will post updates here about my progress towards the ultimate goal of winning the 2010 ASME Student Design Competition. In addition to progress with the robot itself, I will also talk about the design process and the problem solving techniques I will use and encounter every day of this project.
Yesterday, I took my robot out of his box and ran some tests on the systems. I’ve begun a list of some design problems and possible solutions to solve them.
In the coming week, my goal is to have this list of possible design improvements completed. Though there will undoubtably be more design problems that arise later on down the line, this will give me a starting point once I get the robot back into the lab on the 30th.
As I take my robot, RUFUS, out of his box for the first time this summer and I look over all the systems, I quickly remember all the effort it took to make the device.
In the coming months, I’ll also be taking all my skills out of their boxes too, and dusting off the mothballs. This semester will be my own personal proving ground as an engineer. In the end, I know this will be a defining project in my career, and also, in my life.