Design Brief – Statement of Work 2016 CARPA Design Challenge

Design Brief – Statement of Work

2016 CARPA Design Challenge

The Lycanthrope Project

Polymorphic Robotic Device

Initial Revision

J.E. Carpenter

The CARPA Initiative

Engineering Design and Development

Period 6

9 Sept 2015  

Executive Summary

The 2016 Polymorphic Robotic Device challenge is an experiment to devise a multi-configurable robotic device.  The purpose of the challenge is to design, build and test an autonomous, dual-mode robotic system, capable of performing an autonomous seek and destroy mission, culminating in the return of a specified “enemy” target. Teams are required to conduct surveys and market studies to determine how the developed technology would be further applicable and valued in a commercial market. Proposed commercial markets must be approved by The CARPA Authority and will be used as the target market demographic for the senior interdisciplinary project.

Requirements of the dual-mode robotic device, hereafter designated code name “Wolfgang”, are as follows:

  • Wolfgang must be able to change itself from a four legged walker, into a two legged walker and be able to manipulate a one inch diameter steel ball into a cup, mounted eighteen cm off of the floor of the mission arena. (walking - move at a regular pace by setting the foot down once at a time, touching the ground, leg- each of the limbs in which ppl walk or stand)
  • The device must be able to detect color and track it.
  • The device must be able to detect ultraviolet light.
  • The device must be able to detect specific sound frequencies
  • The lycanthrope must provide a live video feed to Mission Control.
  • Wolfgang must be able to wirelessly communicate with a team of “pack” robots and interact with them.  (tell to go)
  • Wolfgang is considered a member of the pack robots. ( see where everything is)
  • The pack robots must be able to walk on four legs.
  • The pack robots must be able to read RFID tags and transmit the data to Mission Control.
  • The pack robots must be able to initiate commands issued by the Mission Control Command Computer.( yes or no)
  • The pack robots must be able to seize and return the target robot to a designated “holding cell”. (Drag?)
  • Wolfgang must not exceed a weight limit of 8 Kg. for the full assembly. Any extra weight past the imposed weight limit will incur penalty points for the affected team. The penalty assessed will be based on the % of “overage” for the device.  For example, if the robot is 10% over its weight allowance, then a 10% penalty will be assessed against the offending team.
  • The other PackBOTs must not exceed a weight limit of 4.5 Kg. All aforementioned penalties apply, in the event of a weight violation.
  • Wolfgang must perform its mission in front of a live audience at the IDP Trade Show, tentatively scheduled for May 27th, 2016.
  • The team, whose device can perform the majority of the tasks in the least amount of time, will win the competition (CDR #5) Priority assigned to the competition will be number of tasks, then time it takes to perform the tasks.
  • Each team will be responsible for the creation of five robots, three pack member, including the lycanthrope, and two target robots, to be provided to the opposing team on mission performance day.
  • Each team will establish a well-defined market for the product technology, in accordance with Senior IDP market compliance rules.

Project Deliverables

Soft Deliverables

Company Formation/Organization – Students will be organized into teams for this effort.  Student teams will be organized into “companies”, with designated tasks, in order to complete the project.  Companies will devise company trademark symbols, to include a name, logos, company letterhead, badges, drawing format sheets and any other identity protocol.  All assignments and deliverables must be on company letterhead.  Designated officers shall include, but not be limited to: Program Manager (PM), Deputy Program Manager (DPM), Chief Scientist, Chief Programmer, Chief Financial Officer, Systems Engineer, Test Engineer, Electrical and Mechanical Lead Engineers, Drive and Articulation Specialties, Design Engineers, Media Specialists, Sensor Analysts, Risk Management Officers, Manufacturing and Production disciplines, Procurement, Mechanical and Electrical Technicians, and Packaging.  Members of the company may hold more than one position, with the exception of the PM.  Resumes are to be submitted for all positions desired.  Interviews will be conducted for the Program Manager, Deputy Program Manager, Chief Scientist, Systems Engineer and Chief Financial Officer positions. These positions cannot be changed without permission from The CARPA Authority (hereafter may be designated as the “customer”).  All other positions may be changed by the PM, with concurrence from the DPM, Chief Scientist and The CARPA Authority.  Both teams will work in a sequestered environment for the duration of the class.  The CARPA Authority (to include Teacher Aides) and any non-team member must sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) prior to being apprised of any company proprietary material.

Critical Design Reviews/Team Member Participation

There will be (5) Critical Design Review (CDR) periods, where the major deliverables will be graded.  There will be a designated winning team for each CDR.  The team that amasses the most points during the CDRs will be awarded the “contract” and determined to be the overall winner for the 2015 CARPA Challenge. The five CDRs are: 1) SPS Proposal Document and Presentation in front of a distinguished panel of judges, 2) Proof of Concept (POC) Document and prototype/benchmark demonstration in front of a distinguished panel of judges, 3) First Article/Technical Data Package (TDP), 4) IDP Trade Expo and Presentation, 5) Team Competition.  Three of the CDRs will require oral presentations.  Company Teams are expected to dress in a business professional manner for all presentations.  All team members are expected to participate in all oral presentations, speaking to their particular/assigned expertise.  All students will be assessed a “participation effort” for each CDR, which will be used as a multiplier against the total numbers of points earned for each CDR, thereby formulating the individual team member grades. For example, if a team member is assessed a participation value of 70% effort and a CDR is worth 200 points, the individual member would receive 140 points for their effort toward that particular CDR.  There will be no “blanket” team grades.  Participation is very important towards a team member’s grade. Participation values shall be determined solely by the instructor.  Input shall be provided by the Program Managers for each team, in regard to team member participation during off campus gatherings.

Tentative Dates for the five CDRs:

CDR#1 System Performance Specification and Presentation – 10/20/2015

CDR#2 – Proof of Concept and Presentation/Demonstration – 01/19/2016

CDR#3 – Testable First Article/TDP/Test Results – 04/25/2016

CDR#4 – IDP Expo/Documentary Film/Presentation – 05/27/2016

                (date subject to scheduling by the 12th grade team)

CDR#5 – Mission Performance (if not done at Expo) – 06/07/2016

Proposal Document - Company teams shall provide a Systems Performance Specifications (SPS), or “Proposal” document, in response to the CARPA Statement of Work (SOW).  The SPS will outline the company’s proposed solution to the challenge, and all of the work that will be performed to complete the mission.  The SPS shall include: a title page, index, mission overview, an executive summary, company organization chart, job descriptions, engagement management procedures, approach, scope of the work performed, risks and assumptions, year-long schedule, itemized budget and an approval section.  The SPS will be reviewed by the customer and will either be approved or rejected.  In the case of a rejection, the company will have an opportunity to provide a revised document.  The SPS effort shall also include a PowerPoint Presentation, to be presented in a closed setting to the customer and a panel of professional people.  This is CDR #1, and is due by the first grading period, date to be 10/21/2015, as scheduled.

Engineering Notebook – Every Team Member is responsible for the creation and maintenance of an Engineering Notebook, for the life of the Project.  Notebooks shall be bound, with non-removable pages, filled out on one side only in black ink.  Notebook pages shall be numbered, and notebooks will include a Table of Contents, Contact List, Data Entries, Acknowledgements, and an Appendix.

Team Portfolio – both teams shall submit a project portfolio to extend for the life of the project.  Portfolios shall be submitted in a binder and shall include: Cover Page, Table of Contents, Documentation of Activities and Assignments, and an Approval Section.  Portfolios will become part of the Trade Expo exhibit and will be periodically checked throughout the year. Digital portfolios to be created for each team member. (Due CDR 4)

Work Breakout Structure Diagram - Company Management shall provide a Work Breakout Structure diagram, subject to review, showing the perceived tasks, and assigned personnel.  Techniques for developing the WBS will be discussed in class.  Due by CDR #1

Schedule – Company Management shall provide an updated schedule (in MS-Project format), once a month to the Customer.  The schedule shall include a legend of the symbology used.

Budget – Company Management shall provide an itemized, updated budget once a month to the Customer.  The budget is the responsibility of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the financial team.

Proof of Concept (POC) – Company teams shall provide a Proof-of-Concept demonstration, showing the ability to communicate, download and execute a software program/command; demonstrate the modular design, and articulation of multiple configurations.  The Proof of Concept will be performed for the customer in a closed setting.  A PowerPoint presentation and appropriate documentation is required.  Digital models may be used in lieu of actual hardware, provided that it can be demonstrated to be easily provided in the build and test phase.  If the two teams cannot demonstrate a command of the required technology for the project, the class will revert to the standard PLTW EDD curriculum for the spring semester.

Technical Data Package (TDP) – Companies shall provide a complete technical data package, on company format sheets, to include all assembly, fabrication, altered item, and source control drawings for all hardware provided.  Drawings shall be prepared in accordance with (IAW) ANSI-Y14.100.M.   Dimensioning and tolerancing shall be IAW ANSI-Y14.5M-1994 or later.  Drawings to be Level II (best commercial practice). Example documents will be made available to the teams.

Test Schedule and Procedures – Company shall provide a test schedule and test procedures for the system, subject to customer review.  Test procedures will be introduced in the SPS document and then updated for the POC document/prototype.  Any environmental test specifications are to be in accordance with MIL-STD-810.

Computer Program – Company shall provide copies of all computer programs used by the robotic mechanisms, on some form of removable media, preferably a flash memory device, that can be easily readable by the customer.  Companies must also provide a text copy of the software used, upon request.

Documentary Film – Company shall provide video evidence of their accomplishments to The CARPA Authority, due at CDR #4.  The video documentary is expected to be 10 minutes in length and must encompass all aspects of the design solution and student experience.  A 2-3 minute “infomercial” showcasing the product is also due for the Trade Expo (CDR 4).

User Manual – Company teams shall provide a comprehensive user manual to show an end-user how to use the developed technology. Due CDR 4.

Professional Input/Survey – Companies shall conduct consumer surveys and solicit input from industry, to devise and develop a series of most desired tasks for the shape-shifting adaptive vehicle/device.  From these surveys, the company teams shall derive a Product Specification Document (to be included in the company portfolio), subject to approval by the customer. Due CDR 1.

Engineering Management Protocol – Company teams shall hold periodic meetings in the form of In Process Review (IPR), and Periodic Process Review (PDR) meetings.  IPRs should be held weekly within the “company”; PDRs shall be conducted with the Customer on a monthly basis. The Critical Design Review (CDR) represents major grading periods, and will be conducted by the customer.  It is the responsibility of the company teams to schedule and conduct the IPR and PDR meetings. The IPRs should not last longer than 10 mins.

Mission Performance – Company teams shall perform all or part of the mission scenario in front of a live audience, to include CARPA Alumni, teachers and industry professionals during the IDP Expo/Trade Show (CDR 4). The graded completion for the Lycanthrope Project will consist of a timed performance demonstration of the completed tasks. This will occur in a controlled environment at the discretion of the customer.  Any special interfaces required for the demonstration must be approved and will be provided by the customer.

IDP – The Lycanthrope Project will be submitted as fulfilling one half of the requirements for the senior Interdisciplinary Project (IDP). A mandatory documentary film chronicling the project will be showcased at the IDP Expo, along with a display of other uses for the project technology in the three minute infomercial, as it pertains to the theme of the Expo. As of this writing, The CARPA Authority will issue one half of the IDP grade. The other half of the IDP grade will come from the 12th grade team, respectively.

Participation – each student will be graded on his/her participation on the project.  The student may or may not be made aware by the instructor, when this grade is being recorded.  For each CDR, PMs will provide “employee” assessments, during week-end, or extra-class meetings/workdays.  The PM is not responsible for the assigned participation grade. That responsibility rests solely with the instructor. The perceived percentage of effort for each student on a task will be multiplied against his/her participation effort for that particular CDR/grading period.  Once each semester, the team will have an opportunity to provide input as to the performance of the administrative personnel.

Trade Show/IDP Expo – Company teams shall perform the Mission Scenario, in front of a live audience, to include former EDD students, teachers, and industry representatives.  Thunderbird is expected to perform the various configurations and have the configuration perform the specified task for that specific configuration.  The winner of the competition will be the team, whose dual mode device completes the most tasks in the shortest amount of time. Teams will also be graded on simplicity of operation, as well as the design of the system.  Company teams are responsible for providing a presentation to the audience, and for setting up a “trade show booth”, to display their solutions to the invitees.  Performance scenario is targeted for May 27th 2016, during the IDP Expo

Hardware Deliverables

The Lycanthrope Polymorphic Device – Student teams will collaborate on the design and build of a dual mode robotic device, capable of traversing over or through its intended environment, which may include but not be limited to: sod, dirt, rocky grade, sand, water, air, gravel, carpeting, linoleum, concrete, asphalt, or Styrofoam.

The device must have built in interfaces/sensors to detect audio frequencies, to include the musical scale of a standard 88 key piano, color sensors, and a UV light sensor.  The device is expected to be equipped with a camera, which can provide a live video feed of the robots environment.  The lycanthrope device must weigh no more than 8 Kg. (subject to penalty) and must carry a rechargeable battery as a power source which includes a port which would allow for the recharging of the system with conventional electrical source. The lycanthrope must be no more than 20 cm tall in a four legged state and grow to 30 cm tall in a two legged state.

Due date: 05/03/2016.

PackBOT (2) – Student teams are responsible for the design and construction of (2) “PackBOTs”, which will become part of the S&D team. PackBOTs must be able to wirelessly communicate with each other and with Mission Control. PackBOTs must be able to read and transmit data concerning RFID tags to the Lycanthrope and Mission Control. PackBOTs are responsible for the collection and delivery of the appropriate target robot to a designated holding cell. The PackBot robots may not exceed 4.5 Kg. in weight, not be taller than 20 cm. tall. The Pack BOTs must be designed to be four legged walkers

Due date: 05/03/2016

PreyBOT (2) – Student teams are responsible for the design and build of two PreyBOT devices, to be used as targets for the S&D mission. Each device must carry a unique RFID card, to identify it at Mission Control. The two PereyBOTS will be used in conjunction with the opposing teams PreyBOTs , for a total of four possible targets.  The prey may have defense mechanisms installed, but must be identical between the two teams. Each PreyBOT is to be fitted with a “kill” switch, which would allow for deactivation in the field. These machines are to be designed and built by the company’s interns, under supervision. Kit parts may be used.

Due date: 05/03/2016

Packaging – Student teams will devise an easily transportable packaging system for the lycanthrope device, which will protect the device during transport.  The packaging system must allow the device to be easily transportable to a variety of environments. The packaging system must be easily carried by a single individual and shall conform to standard airline packaging requirements.  During the IDP Expo, student teams may be asked to demonstrate the packaging system and the unit’s extraction and return to/from the transport case. 

Due date: 05/20/2016.

Accessory Components – The student teams will provide any “accessory” components required for the device to perform its function during CDR 5.  Any component or accessory which attaches to the device during the execution of a designated task will be considered part of the 8 kilogram weight limitation.

Due date: 05/20/2016.

The Lycanthrope device and all associated parts and components, video documentary, trade show materials, banners and other items paid for with the team budget, will become the property of The CARPA Initiative, to be used at its discretion, at the end of the year.  Date: 06/06/2016.

The Mission

Each team is expected to design, build and demonstrate a Distributed Autonomous Robotic System (DARS) for a seek and destroy (S&D) mission, utilizing “pack” or “swarm” mentality to complete a collaborative task between a suite of four-legged robotic mechanisms. The DARS system will be comprised of three robotic devices, hereafter referred to as the “wolf-pack”, which must collaborate to locate and capture one or more randomly moving robotic (prey) targets, built by the opposing team. The target will be placed in a protected access area, on the mission field. Access to the mission target, can only be achieved through the activation of a switch which will allow a protective barrier to be removed. This switch will be out of reach of the four-legged wolf-pack robots.

One of the robots, designated as the lycanthrope device, must enter a “morphing chamber” which will provide the appropriate stimulus to initiate the changeling to morph into a two legged walker. The changeling will have three minutes to activate the switch, as exposure to ambient light must initiate a timed sequence, where the lycanthrope reverts to its former shape as a four legged walker. Once the pack has determined which target is the correct one, they must return the prey to a “holding cell”. Each PreyBOT will have a “kill switch” located on the robot. The wolf-pack may decide to neutralize the prey, by activating its kill switch, or it may return the prey to the holding cell “alive” for more points.  The team must return the correct target, to earn any points. The team that completes most of the mission parameters, or all of them, in the shortest amount of time, will be declared the contract winner for the mission.


  1. - Each team must enter the arena from a pre-described entry point. The mission timer begins once the first member of the wolf-pack enters the arena.
  1. – The arena will be pre-loaded with prey.
  1. – All members of the wolf-pack must be four-legged walkers, excepting the

         changeling, which can become a two-legged walker.

  1. – The Lycanthrope Device can weigh no more than 8 Kg., nor be taller than 30 cm., at its tallest, without incurring a penalty. The penalty assessed will be based on the percentage of overage. If the device  is 10% over its target weight, then a penalty of 10% will be assessed against  the device.
  1. – No kit parts may be used, without prior CARPA approval, except in the case of the  Intern PreyBOT Project.
  1. – GFE (Government Furnished Equipment) may be provided by CARPA for the project.  Said equipment is not “disposable” and must be returned either on-board the device or in the state in which it was provided.  Any GFE that is checked out, but not used during the mission scenario must be replaced by the team to who it  was issued.
  1. – Both teams are required to raise their own funds for the build. Any joint presentations, resulting in grants, will be divided evenly among the teams, unless it is determined that equal effort was not provided by both teams. In that event, the CARPA Initiative will control the funds.
  1. – The lycanthrope must be designed to be an autonomous robotic device.
  1. – The DARS system must be transported to the competition in a protective case.     
  1. – A team may not disable, destroy, or otherwise interfere with an opponent’s robot, any robot modules, r tamper with the arena in any way.


Rules, Conditions, and Requirements are subject to change by the CARPA authority.  All changes will be discussed in class, and be presented to the company teams in writing.

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