A "Crazy Machine" Project With Teamwork and Interteam Negotiations

A "Crazy Machine" Project With Teamwork and Interteam Negotiations

C. Maynard, C. Ortega-Sanchez (2013).  A "Crazy Machine" Project With Teamwork and Interteam Negotiations. 9.

The paper describes an approach to undergraduate laboratory projects that require both teamwork and inter-team negotiation skills. The authors have both implemented teamwork projects based on the CDIO learning paradigm over several years but considered that there were some important aspects of the engineering process that needed greater emphasis. Teams rarely work alone; they interact with other teams often producing only one subsystem within a greater whole.

What was needed was a project which could be subdivided so that all teams had tasks of similar complexity, which needed negotiation with other teams for overall system interfacing and execution. The result was a “Crazy Machine” for which each team created a module. Each module received a steel ball from another team, initiated activities to achieve some “spectacular” operations and then within a specified time period passed the steel ball to the next section.

Implementation of each section required construction, control via either a Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) or microcontroller, and debugging. The paper describes the project, the students’ reactions, their work and overall feedbackconcerning the project’s ideas and implementation. The use of online tools to collect design considerations and decisions, report on design, planning, and implementation, reflective reporting, peer assessment and finally the use of independent interviews to assess the overall success/failure is also discussed.

Proceedings of the 9th International CDIO Conference, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Cambridge, Massachusetts, June 9 – 13, 2013. 


Authors (New): 
Clive A. Maynard
Cesar Ortega-Sanchez
Curtin University, Australia
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