Engineer Help!!!!!PLEASE!!!!

WE all know that profesional engineers like to think for hours about one minor detail. But last night we spent 2 hours thinkin of what position the battery (conectors in front or side…ect) should be in! Ahhh this is so frusterating.

So…what should i say to them. I give them an agenda and the get 10% through it in a wholes day work. :confused:

sometimes its the dumb little things that have no best answer that tie you up for hours.

For me, I can write SW algorythms and code pretty quick, but I usually stop and spend several MINUTES trying to think of the right name to call a variable, or a LABEL in the code.

most engineers do tend to focus on the small details and forget about the big picture - its very unusual to find someone who made it through engineering school who has ‘Floodlight’ thinking (as opposed to spotlight thinking)

most Floodlight thinkers end up being artists or pilots or athletes - some field where you need to be able to take in everything all at once, the big picture.

yes, but we dont even have a moving robot, so im here all alone (have been for like 6 hours) doing the eletronics myself… It just gets frusterating. Im like the only Student doing work…

Rhs953, yeah, know that feeling too. very frustrating. but think about when its all done.(hopefully it’ll be done in time) you’ll feel the robot works and runs because you worked that hard… and you can get your teammates to buy you lunch for your hard work … maybe…

Heh it would be funny to go out into the arena with just a chassie.

I think what Ken meant was: “who cares?” Just do it and test it. If it works, great; if it doesn’t, do it a different way. Do it and move on - save yourself the time of overoptimizing the unimportant details.

something our team did this year that really helped to focus our team on the important stuff.

Several weeks before the kickoff we took the FIRST transmissions left over from last year, and two spare drill motors, and we made a pratice bot using the 2x4 alum frame and 3/8" plywood for a frame.

just the two skyway wheels, a castor, the RC, fuse box and battery.

Its great for letting the students get driving pratice

but one other advantage - after we analized the game this year, we declared our practice bot (Frank) is our default bot for this year - that unless the students can think up something better, we will make another one just like it, and use that

of course we were able to think of things to make Frank better, a ball collector on the front, an arm for the 2X ball, even ideas for the chin up - but what Frank did for us was it established a baseline - for all the misc details, if you could not think of a better way, we simply copied that part from Frank - it was a starting point and helped us avoid exactly what you are doing, spending 2 hours trying to decide to put the battery this way or that way.

well that is defentally a good sugestion for next year.

Have you tried putting some of your team’s goals into writing? Sometimes this can help everyone involved maintain a sense of where they are on time, where the team would like to be in the build, etc. Our team has employed a posted schedule this year and for the most part it has been pretty successful. Just a thought. Best of luck to you.

oh yea ive tried that they look at it and say ok let do that, 5 min later they are helping one of our teachers build the arena. :frowning:

welcome to project leadership 101 :c)

at the start of each meeting have the goals for the day on a whiteboard, and have people sign up for each of them

throughout the day someone has to act as the project leader, and go around and make sure everyone is working on their assigned tasks, see what problems they are having, point them in the direction to resolve them, then go on to the next group.

Being the project leader really is a full time job, you cant be off wireing something up all day, and asssume the rest of the team is doing what they need to be doing - usually the mentors fill this role, but you can easily have several engineers on your team who have never BEEN project leaders and they dont realize how much they have been led themselves at their real jobs.

YEs but we are only working for 3 hours a day…sigh…becides i try to keep them on track, but they do like i said before.

What is your situation on this team? Are you a student? Are they parents, or engineers? How much experience do you have, how much do they have?

im more like a half student. I finish hs in the middle of the year and im so dedicatd to the robotics that i saty here at school every day from 7am to 10pm working on the robot. I have tons of experience. In fact i even built a battle bot awhile back. they are enginerers at IGT by the way.

maybe you need to back off some and let the other students stuggle with some tasks, even though you know you could do them faster by yourself

at first it will be a learning curve for them, and they wont get much done, but once they start to feel confident in what they are doing, they will take off on their own, and in the end the whole team will get more done than you will be able to by yourself

sounds like they all expect you to do it by yourself, so they are only poking at the work here and there, expecting you to finish it when they leave.

oh yea thats 1 more thing. we have tons of members, but only 2 show up. And of course he does a ton of work.

something Ive learned over the years- some people work on a project, and some people DO a project

the whole idea of ownership - in every project that gets done there is usually one person who takes it on themselves to make it happen, who engages themself to the task, who makes it their personal responsibility

thing about this is: a person must have enough confidence in their skills and ablilities to be able to take ownership - when you have new people who dont understand everything the project entails, they will show up and poke at it, work ‘on’ it, but they wont have the self confidence to ‘do’ the project - to be responsible for it.

Im not talking about the bot as a whole - there are many subsystems that have to happen, that have to be assembled, and you can have several people each taking ownership for one subsystem - the drivetrain, the electronics, the SW, the pneumatics

maybe what you need to do is deligate responsibility to people who can handle the subsystems (if you have enough experienced people) - take them aside one on one and tell them, " I need you to take ownership of the pneumatics…" and make sure they know, if they dont make their subsystem work one way or another, then your team will have a fancy statue at the regional this year.

YEs i understand, but people say they are going to do stuff and they dont. Liek they say they are going to show up at luch and they dont. They would rather go snowboarding than go to roboitcs.

I try to tell them that you have to manage your time. but they dont get that this is a commintment.

Also most of them a freshmen…so…lol

You may be able to private message some of the engineers and mentors that have replied in this forum to get some personal advice. You may also get some differing opinions that way. It may help and you may get more advice than posting some of your inter-team concerns on the forums.

By the way, thx for all your help. :smiley: