Concurrent subteams

I was reading the 254 build season blogs (AWESOME stuff!, and I was surprised to find that they designed each element one at a time, and then sent it off to manufacturing. Do any of you have teams where the mechanisms are designed simultaneously by different sub teams? How does it work?

Both the Killer Bees and Robowranglerseither state or elude to similar practices; for the students, there are no long-standing boundaries for subteams.

We have some very loose sub teams for building our mechanisms, and they typically work concurrently. I say loose, because there’s usually one student dedicated to that sub team 100% (essentially the person who “owns” the design of that assembly), while other students may float a bit, depending on need and nightly attendance.

We definitely don’t design and send out for manufacturing… we do all the manufacturing and building in house by the students!

During our prototyping phase, we design all our components separately in small groups; the problem is that they don’t fit together in the end and we spend a lot of time struggling to bring everything into one complete robot. That’s not something wrong with simultaneous prototyping, though - that’s something wrong with what happens next. There’s a second phase necessary, where the subteams work together to make one robot, that we always forget.

All our subteams fabricate their mechanisms independently. Everything works together because of the Integration & Testing (I&T) subteam.

I&T are the wanderers. They wander around, making sure that any team’s work won’t mess up another team’s. They facilitate conflict resolutions, and carry measurements from team to team.

How wide it the chassis from inner rail to rail? I&T knows it’s 19", so instead of having to find and quiz the chassis team, I just ask the I&T kid who is shadowing whatever team I’m with that day. It is their job to know all this and keep everything straight.

The CAD team serves as a double-check to make sure stuff works when assembled together.

Chassis & Drivetrain do work closely, often together, but pneumatic, electrical, manipulator and CAD hardly ever see each other, except at review sessions. Or dinner.

Team 1891 splits its mechanical subteam into multiple project teams which work together to make the different aspects of the robot. For example, this year was mainly split into the mast, chassis, and end effector teams, with the minibot being a seperate project by three students. Each project works with each other to coordinate design specs, which saves us time to machine every part ourselves.