As a part of UNSW Engineering program (MMAN2100 course) in a team of 6 we have designed a prototype of Underwater Robotic Arm which would act as an educational game for children attending the NSW Maritime Museum. We were told that apparently if our design is good, some parts may be implemented in the real device.
Our task included coming up with ideas and the full CAD design of the prototype. One of the major parts of this task was documenting (as in report writing). We created a requirements document, decision matrix, BOM and User Manual. The report was incremental and was strictly marked on a fortnightly basis, which really made us all learn what to do and what not to do while documenting an engineering project. We also had to maintain an engineering logbook throughout the process, logging the design process.
The project required a lot of good teamwork. We had weekly group meetings and distributed tasks. Even though we did not have assigned leaders, the group performed rather well as a team. We had almost no issues with deadlines and when we did the most reliable people from the group (including me) managed to pull through. We have received High Distinction for the project, which was my initial goal (to finally get the highest mark for the group course).
As a team member apart from the basic responsibilities I produced the majority of the complicated parts of the design in Solidworks as I was eager to improve my CAD skills.
This project has inspired me to transfer to the Mechatronics stream of Engineering program at UNSW because I enjoyed fiddling with robotics so much (even on a virtual level). Unfortunately the course did not require us to produce a physical prototype (due to time limitations), but at the same time I was attending Arduino workshops run by CREATE and so I learned a bunch and had a very good idea on how to make this project a reality.