Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase
- Specify problem statement
- Contact customer to review project goals
- Establish team roles
- Document all work
- Conducted customer interview
- Set customer and engineering requirements
- Considered potential use scenarios
- Determined stakeholders
- Established team values and roles
- Created loose project plan and timeline
- Documented all work in Confluence
SailBot is a new portable device that can assist a sailor in steering a sonar. The device converts intense physical labor into a simple, easily controlled method. SailBot is designed to be helpful for sailors with any disability and will be adaptable to match the abilities of each sailor. Currently, any robotic assisted sailing requires a proprietary, expensive boat or takes a long time to set up.
The goals of this project are to create a new device that uses current technologies to make a portable, comfortable control method for a common sonar boat. The expected result is a prototype that is intuitive for the user; and that boathouses can install and remove quickly between sessions.
Link to project summary here
Various scenarios of Sailors using SailBot are laid out below. Use scenarios were a tool to help understand feature and requirements needed.
Use Scenario 1:
A blind sailor requests to have a sailing session at 1:00PM one afternoon. The conditions of the ocean are relatively rough waters with 14 knot winds. Between the time the sailor checks in at 1:00 and the time he has to leave at 2:00, he must sign into the boathouse, make his way to a sonar boat with an installed SailBot, get the boat in the water, complete his session, bring the boat back in, and sign out of the boathouse:
Use Scenario 2:
A sailor with a missing hand wants to go sailing, but can not control ropes in high wind conditions due to the strength required. The sailor makes an appointment with Community Boating to use SailBot to assist them. The Boathouse filled their schedule entirely and the instructor had to quickly prepare between sessions:
Use Scenario 3:
A Sailor with a disability sets an appointment to use SailBot. Conditions are very tough and the Sailor has trouble staying on course. The instructor is able to override and assist the sailor in safely navigating to the dock:
Use Scenario 4:
A first time Community Boating member sets an appointment to use SailBot. The user does not find Joysticks comfortable and wants to control the boat using a different method. The instructor uses SailBot's "sip and puff" control method to steer the boat instead of a joystick.
Project Goals and Key Deliverables
- Portable steering device with joystick control system (and possibly "Sip and Puff" alternative method)
- Designed to be compact and installed by 1-2 people in less than 20 minutes
- Includes override options in case of emergency
- Powered by a removable battery
- Compatible with Sonar boats
Customer Requirements (Needs)
Requirements based off of Use Case scenarios in addition to interviews with the Director of UAP, Sam Peirson. We discussed common issues with their current joystick controlled Sailing, and also any desired features that customers have requested.
|1||9||Comfortable||Sailor should not experience any level of strain or discomfort during use|
|2||9||Intuitive||Easy to use for sailor|
|3||9||Override Failsafe||Ability to disconnect system, with seamless transition to full manual control|
|4||9||Durable||Can function in 12-20 knot winds for a 1.75 hour session, anywhere between early April to late October in Boston|
|5||9||Tiller Operation||Provide power assisted control over the boat's tiller|
|6||9||Joystick Control||Control operations by method of joystick|
|8||9||Discreet Override||Small corrections by instructor during session, without sailor knowing|
|7||6||Installation Time||Be able to install quickly, ideally < 20 minutes|
|9||6||Waterproof||Should not be damaged by direct water contact, such as rain or high humidity|
|10||6||"SipnPuff" Control||Control operations by method of straw|
|11||6||Portable||Two people maximum carrying unit to and from boat|
|12||6||Compatible||Minimal modifications to existing Sonar boat|
|13||6||Removable Battery||Prevent battery damage during winter storage|
|20||6||Joystick Centering||Tiller returns to center position when no controls are being sent|
|14||3||Floats||Prevents unit sinking in case dropped in water|
|15||3||Intuitive Installation||Any person with no prior knowledge would be able to fully install and repair|
|17||3||Multi-boat Compatibility||Device can work with Keel Mercuries|
|16||1||Boom Operation||Provide power assisted control over the boat's main sail|
|18||1||Touch Control||Operator can touch on a phone where to go (map of water)|
A working customer requirement document can be found here
Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)
Engineering Requirements were created from the customer requirements. Engineering Requirements added specific metrics to give SailBot targets to achieve. This can objectively show if SailBot has achieved its requirements.
|Engineering Requirements #||Customer Requirement(s) #||Features||Metric||Target||Direction||Ideal Goal|
|ER1||CR5||Tiller Operation||Has Tiller Control||Yes||N/A||Yes|
|ER2||CR4||Battery Powered||Battery Life||2 Hours||Higher||4 Hours|
|ER3||CR2, CR6, CR10, CR18||Intuitive||Familiar electric control||1 Control Method||Higher||3 Control Methods|
|ER4||CR4||Durable||Function in High wind||15 Knots||Higher||20 Knots|
CR7, CR15, CR17
Easy to Install
|Weight||80 Lbs||Lower||50 Lbs|
|ER6||Time to Install||Installation time between appointments||20 Minutes||Lower||5 Minutes|
|ER7||Used on different boats||Number of boats functional on|
|Has Disconnect Override||Yes||N/A||Yes|
|ER9||Has Joystick Override||Yes||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|ER10||CR9||Waterproof||Water resistant to splashes/rain||Yes||Higher||Water resistant to full submersion|
|ER11||CR1||Comfort||Wires, actuators, components, etc. do not |
need constant readjustment or interfere
|ER12||CR11||Portable||Collapsed/folded/stored volume||4x3.5x2.5 feet||Lower||3.5x3x2 feet|
|ER13||CR12||Compatable||Attachment method||Standard nuts/bolts||Lower||Damage free snap-on/stick method|
|ER14||CR13||Removable Battery||Battery installation method||Yes||N/A||Yes|
|ER15||CR14||Buoyant||Able to float if dropped in water||Room for possibility||N/A||Yes|
|ER16||CR16||Boom Operation||Ability to control mainsail||Room for possibility||N/A||Yes|
|ER17||CR19||Crash Aversion||SailBot can autonomously steer to avoid collisions||Room for possibility||Higher||Ability to detect and steer|
|ER18||CR20||Joystick center||Tiller returns to center position when no controls are being sent||Yes||N/A||Yes|
|ER19||CR5||Tiller Range||Angle off of center that tiller can turn in either direction||60 Degrees||Higher||80 Degrees|
|CR5||Tiller Speed||Time that tiller should take to move between max positions||1 Second(s)||Lower||0.5 Second(s)|
|CR8, CR15, CR17||Easy to Install||Tools required to install SailBot||1||Lower||0|
|ER 22||CR12||Modifications||Number of mounting points||6||Lower||4|
A working engineering requirements document can be found here
- We are limited to testing at the Rochester Yacht Club, where we may not be able to modify their boats to the extent we need for thorough testing.
- Due to the facility limitations and uncertain Rochester weather patterns, it is a possibility that testing will not accurately reflect the conditions SailBot will ultimately be used in.
- Not concerned with capsizing of boat, as sonars are already unlikely to capsize and any hazard of doing so is out of our scope.
- We were not provided an initial funding estimate from the sponsor and must propose our own budget with efficient use of all available resources.
- Our product only focuses on controlling the tiller; as per the customer requirement, we are not concerned with controlling the sails.
House of Quality
The House of Quality chart above displays the relative importance of each engineering and customer requirement for the SailBot device. The most important qualities of the device are that the tiller operation and joystick control are durable and functional in the sailing conditions and that the user finds the device easy and comfortable to use.
A working House of Quality document can be found here.
A copy of our first revision of a comprehensive risk management chart can be found here.
Design Review Materials
Plans for next phase
- Communicate with Rochester Yacht Club about using their facilities and boats for testing
- Submit finalized financial proposal to Community Boating for approval
- Begin concept generation
- Begin feasibility analysis and making test plans
- Update deliverables in Confluence
Link to the current draft schedule looking ahead to phase 2 here
Three week plans for each individual team member linked below:
Peer evaluations were completed for all team members for phase 1 following the problem definition review.