ArdDog Challenge Review and Update

The challenge didn’t quite get completed and it certainty didn’t go to plan but it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed every minuet of the frantic building.

Review

In review I feel I should address why I originally undertook this challenge. The task was deliberately very short and not hugely complex (by that I mean in comparison to high level robots like PR2). The idea being I could fit the build into a weekend and the complexity was reasonable enough to not get overwhelmed by it. There were a few main reasons why I set myself this challenge

1 – I to get into the habbit of documenting well and sharing with a community.

Quite literally I wanted to blog with worthwhile and interesting project. Before I would note things down engineering style, very rarely photograph any thing and I had never uploaded a video to youtube before. I wanted to change my style due to how useful I had found other peoples blogs. I could always find a good how-to, some interesting hidden information, an inspiring project or simply for entertainment.

I found that after the after the first few posts I got into the swing of things and it became easier. I also shorted the posts and detailed just the bit I was working on at the time. I quite enjoyed it and got over the hurdle of ‘it will take too long to setup now in the middle of a project, ill just do it later’.

2 – I wish to tame my inner perfectionist

I quite often find that my projects go quite slowly for two main reasons. I try to design the perfect item before starting, which leads to a complicated design which will take forever to implement. Secondly I always want to make the current bit of the design perfect before moving on. This leads to constant re-design when the next part of the design in order to be perfect requires to first bit to be changed / re-written.

This project forced me to change my design strategy putting time as the most important commodity not quality. The basic strategy was to go from start to finish as fast as possible ending up with sketchyest only just working first version with minimal features. Then to take the first version and fix/improve and upgrade the design based on all the facts I had learnt in build the device.

I feel that the project gave me a great push into speeding up my own design process and not being constrained by perfection and from that perspective the project was an amazing success.

Going forwards

With the effort investing in getting the robot built I am not going to give up on it. I plan to finish continue to get the robot up and running. In keeping with the spirit of the original brief I will keep a record of time and try to get it walking as fast a possible. At the end I should be able to look back and see how long it actually took and really review the entire journey from start to finish.

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