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Team Vision for Final Demo and Hand-off

As a team, we set out to complete as much of this project as possible even with the new limitations of working remotely without the facilities and tools at RIT. Before the end of the semester we planned to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Full assembly of SailBot and user controls
  • Finalize all electronic feedback features
  • Cast SailBot with fiberglass shell
  • Finalize all project documentation (assembly document, final paper and poster)

Our team accomplished the following:

  • Finished all project documentation and deliverables
    • Lightning talk (2 minute video)
    • Final Poster
    • Final Paper
  • Finalized the Assembly Document
  • Full assembly of SailBot and user controls

Assembly Document

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, some of the facilities that would allow us to finish our project were not available. In order to help create more accessibility to SailBot, an assembly document was made. The assembly document contains instructions for making each part, assembling each system, assembling SailBot together, and basic debugging. This can assist any future boathouses create their own SailBot and will assist in testing the device.

Test Results Summary

Plans were in place for future testing once the mechanical, electrical and user control subsystems were complete, but have been modified to reflect the new limitations of working remotely. A wooden test bench was built to model the back corner of a sonar, to scale. This bench was set to be used for all system tests since access to sonars was no longer possible. An outline of all of the future tests that we had planned on completing are shown below along with the specifications for them which were based on engineering requirements. Detailed instructions for how to perform these tests are included in the assembly document as well as an excel document (linked here), both given to the customer along with the physical SailBot prototype. 

Looking back at the engineering requirements for the project, we were able to design SailBot to be within the values set for each one. Only a handful were able to be fully verified from testing, as seen below. The remaining values will continue to be tested either by our team over the summer or Community Boating after we hand them the prototype. 

Risk and Problem Tracking

Risks and problems were tracked throughout the design process, especially in these final two build phases which helped us plan for potential issues before they surfaced and quickly form solutions to problems when they did. The intent was for the sum of our risks to be reduced to zero by the end of MSD ll, however, with the inability to test our assembly in a boat, the durability and function of SailBot cannot be confirmed and therefore many of our technical risks remain. That being said, with extensive CAD simulating and subsystem feasibility and testing, we are confident that the likelihood of these risks is minimal.

Remaining flexible in our design and being resourceful with the materials available to us enabled us to solve the problems that surfaces during the build and test phases. Despite a few mechanical, financial and location setbacks, full assembly of SailBot was achieved and a successful customer hand-off is in the works.

Final Project Documentation

  • Include a link to your team's technical paper using the template here.
    • Note that the max file size for the wiki is 10 MB - you should post a reduced-size file here, with image quality reduced to something printable at 8.5x11" or similar. 
    • Submit your full-size poster to myCourses for printing.

Final Images of SailBot (with continued work being done on the assembly over the summer):

SailBot design overview.


Rendered image of SailBot installed on a Sonar.


SailBot frame with lead screw and battery (left). Drawing of the outer fiberglass shell, to be finished early summer (right).


User controls, displaying two of the joystick control methods. A wheel and dial are in the works as well. The feedback panel displays tiller direction, a 3 and 5 minute race timer and lights indicating battery level. The back of the device houses a 9V battery and an on/off switch.

Links to the final project documents are give below:

Functional Demo Materials

Include links to:

Plans for Wrap-up

Every member of this senior design team is committed to the completion of this project even if it carries beyond the scope and timeline set by the MSD curriculum. Extensive work has been done to ensure SailBot meets the needs of Community Boating and the community of sailors with disabilities who are projected to be using the device on a daily basis. We hope our device will ultimately inspire others to join in this effort to "enable sailing for all" and to support sailors with disabilities across the nation.

Concluding/continued tasks being completed over the summer:

  • Finalizing electronics for the fully integrated system
  • Finalizing fiberglass coating to the SailBot exterior casing
  • Handing off fully assembled SailBot to Community Boating
    •  Including spare parts and the assembly document

Potential upgrades to SailBot:

  • Installation methods for multiple boats (aside from Sonars)
  • Mainsail and jib control
  • More control methods (chin joystick, eye tracking, touch pad)

Considerations for large scale manufacturing:

To manufacture in large volumes, new motors and electronic parts could be selected. The Arduino choice was beneficial for this project because it allowed quick changes in short time, however, now that the final design is created, a custom PCB board could be made specifically for SailBot. This would also allow the electronics to be even smaller and fit in more waterproof areas.

The extrusions for the frame could be remade using bolts and tapped holes instead of T nuts which would allow for faster assembly, but may compromise the “open source” nature of SailBot.

If SailBot were produced in large volumes there would be little need for complete changes to the model, only minor adjustments to optimize the design and the manufacturing process. We are currently creating some of these designs in CAD and are planning to see if a company would sponsor the project for larger volumes.

Peer Evaluations

Peer evaluations were done as a reflection of this phase and our overall team experience. The document is linked here.

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