Let’s Start This

Hello hello, we are a group of Worcester Polytechnic Institute students working on our Major Qualifying Project (MQP). An MQP is the senior project at WPI. Throughout the span of this academic year (August 2012-May 2013), we are going to design and create a modular, robotic submarine! In general, we are making an automated underwater vehicle (AUV).  We will pick an official name for the actual AUV, but as of now we are simply referring to it as the Robosub.

We made this site as a way to not only share our Robosub progress, but also to provide the online opportunity for people to join us on our journey of what it takes to create an AUV. An update will be posted at least once a week- we hope that you will follow our project development and leave feedback along the way!

After a (hopefully) relaxing summer break, this past Monday, our large team of 13 students and 5 advisers came together for the first time to kick off this ambitious project! We discussed a lot of not very exciting, but necessary organizational logistics and figured out what it looks like for 13 students to work together effectively and to have accountability. It’s going to be a challenge, but we’re excited and up for the task.

Our team of 13 has been broken down into 3 different groups, which are the computer science, the electrical and computer engineering, and the mechanical engineering groups. We have a rough vision for what our AUV will accomplish, but still have many details and design options that need to be agreed upon.  With this, our advisers requested that we provide them with a statement of work and gave us an idea of what exactly that entails.

If you are like most of us were, then you are not familiar with this expression. A statement of work is basically a contract between a customer with a specific work task and whoever is doing the job. It outlines the work that will be done and provides a list of deliverables with expected completion dates. This ensures understanding of expectations on both sides and allows the customer to see what progress is being made. In our project, our advisers are serving as our “customers” and creating the AUV is the work task. Given the type of project we have and the size of the team, creating a statement of work now feels like a natural part of the process.

Our main objective during this coming week is to work toward creating a unified vision for the AUV. We plan for each group to meet together, discuss their specific group visions, and define what they feel their responsibilities are in the project. We will meet this coming Monday to harmonize each group’s ideas and to start writing the statement of work. We will let you know how it goes next week!

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