JVN: The Engineering Design Process & Competition Robotics


Hi All,
I’m doing a presentation in Atlanta on Wednesday evening from 7:45 to 8:30 in room C203.

The presentation is on Applying the Engineering Design Process to Competition Robotics. This is a new topic for me to discuss, but it builds on and compiles some of the lessons I’ve been rambling about to my students (and here on chief) for a looooooong time.

This presentation takes on more of an educational viewpoint. “How to use this process to positively influence students” might be a better title. I won’t be dwelling too much on how to use it to build Einstein robots, though that topic will come up.

I feel VERY strongly that within FIRST one of the primary lessons mentors can teach their students is how to apply this design process to our competition. There is magic in this, as it hits at the root of the question “what is engineering?” and provides an easy way to expose students to the very values we are trying to instill. If we can get a student to think like an engineer, and to enjoy solving problems in a methodical manner, we have succeeded!

It has been fun for me to pull together all my various ramblings and notes into something worth discussing. If this topic sounds interesting to you I hope you’ll stop by for a listen.

Maybe I’ll see some of you on Wednesday night.

Edit: Presentation posted here: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/papers/2250**


Aww, now I regret my decision to pass on Atlanta this year even more. John, will you be releasing your slides or a recording online?


I agree with Andy, all these great presentations are just convincing me even more that I have to make my way down to Atlanta next year, team or not.


Why on Wednesday, we’re arriving at about 10 o clock that night. When I looked at the conference schedule I saw Karthik and your presentation and said, those are presentations I want to see, then I looked at the agenda and our flight schedule.:frowning:


I’m saying YAY to them being on wednesday. The Thursday morning ones I can’t make at all.


I will be there! I can’t wait!


I just want to say “thank you” to all who attended my presentation. I had a fun time and hope everyone enjoyed themselves. I think this may be a presentation worth giving again. I already have some improvements in mind.



Is the presentation up online somewhere?


It was a great presentation! The lights going on and off were a tad bit distracting but there was so much good information in the presentation.


I ended up taking about 5-6 pages of notes during this presentation… Im planning on starting my own rookie team and all this information should be VERY helpful when in the building process of the robot

JVN, thank you for a excelent presentation, it was well worth our time, I hope you do another one next year (maybe i could get this “planned” rookie team to attend and see where most of their build season processes/steps/precedures came from :slight_smile: )


John, can you post the presentation somewhere?

Nawaid and David, can you post your notes? It could be a great discussion starter for those of us that did not make it to the session.

(Hey John, this could be a boost to your retirement plan. You could sell the boxed DVD set and if people act NOW they can get a free JVN doll!)


3rd’ed on the online presentation. I missed this presentation b/c we had an FTC pit to setup and a FRC robot to uncrate with only 2 people :ahh:. I’m glad I went to Raul’s (I can now create a small interactive pneumatic lecture series for Fall that uses real numbers rather than just diagrams), but wish I would have also been able to attend this one. Choices, choices, choices…

There’s still no word on where the presentations will be put online though – we can assume WPI’s site? I know they’ve put actual videos up before, and for this lecture that’s what I’m seeking. PowerPoints are nice, but 6 pages worth of notes means that someone is a good note taker and didn’t just write down what’s on the slides!


I posted the presentation here:

Please note, I do a lot of “talking” so much of the content is not included in the Powerpoint… There may still be something useful here, your mileage may vary.



“recent downloaders” “…s_forbes…”

Just in time for our NURC robot!



Thank you so much! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for/dreaming about since the season ended. Now I don’t have to invent it from scratch!


Thank you John, the design process is something our students missed out on this year. I am hoping to rectify this mistake over the summer. I am very glad I do not have to start from scratch…


“At some point in every design process there comes a time when it is necessary to shoot the engineer and just build the thing…”

So who said that?


The computer science major who didn’t want to be up until 6am the night before ship.


A friend who works for a Very Large Aircraft Manufacturer told me this one years ago as, “Eventually you have to shoot the engineers and build the airplane.” I imagine that it dates back to the railroad industry in 1830…


Thanks for posting this John, I wish I could have been there.