In our STEAM project so far, I was in charge of creating a robotic dog that would link the three sections of the performance together. Luckily, I was able to use the LEGO EV3 Robotic Kit to create a dog and I found a set of instructions online to assist me in the creation of the dog. The assembly of the dog is finished; however, the programming has not been worked out yet. I will need to figure out how to connect the dog to a remote through Bluetooth then learn how to control it.
Because the assembly of the dog was a step-by-step process, I found that a youtube video was really useful because it clearly marks the pieces I needed to find and where each individual piece fit. I think with design and instructional procedures, Youtube works really well as it offers not only very specific and clear instructions, there’s also a wide variety of videos to choose from. I foresee our group utilizing this platform a lot in the future when we bring the prototype to life and begin the construction of our sequence.
I am rather proud of the work that I have done so far, having finished the robotic dog. The entire process took around 5 class periods. Some aspects of the process were really fun and rewarding, such as the assembly of the robot and watching it slowly come together and take on the form of an actual animal. Other aspects were tedious, such as the location of single parts and digging through boxes of lego parts. Throughout the process, I realized how intricate the work of an engineer was. The parts I had been working with were already simplified for me so that I didn’t have to deal with much of the technical aspect of the robot and gears. It is fascinating to imagine how much work an engineer would have to go through to create their own blueprint and create everything from the most elementary parts. I feel like this process has conjured my respect for the field of engineering, a field that I had never before considered as interesting.
I am extremely excited for the end result of this process, however, along the way I feel like our group has encountered more frustrations than delight. We have our prototype planned, but the synchronization aspect has been vaguely considered. We will have to be extremely precise with the math and timing involved so that our video and sequence doesn’t just turn out to be an unsynchronized mess. We haven’t started designing the life-size parts of the project yet, but I feel that as time goes on, we will be able to better grasp the concepts and ideas that will allow us to overcome this challenge.
I have not yet learned much as the robotic dog was sort of a sub-project within our group. I worked mainly alone with the exception of assisting my group with the provision of ideas and opinion at times. I think the next part of the project, however, will require a generous amount of collaboration as well as communication. I think I will be able to work well with my group mates because, luckily, they are all extremely cooperative and I think we are very like-minded in the sense that we are willing to put behind our egos in order to achieve the greater goal of creating a well-rounded performance in the project.
I would believe that I enjoy design, turning imagination into reality. With these types of projects that are already unique and outside of the box on their own, I have realized that to excel we must stretch our imaginations and really challenge our critical thinking. Our group’s theme for this project is unpredictable with an element of surprise. Essentially, we wish to add another dimension and layer to our project to really take it to the next level and shocking the audience, to a certain extent.
Throughout the past couple of weeks, I’ve been allocating a lot of brainpower to projects involving creation and design, from directing videos in social studies to planning the sequence for our STEAM project. In doing so, I’ve learned that I am one that likes to put out the best work instead of having something mediocre. Sure, I lack the will to put the effort in at times and I procrastinate sometimes, but if I put my name on it, I will make sure that it’s the best that it can be. It might sound egotistical and everything but I expect a lot of myself and I think that’s what drives me to create work of good quality.
Each individual in our group has different strengths and weaknesses. As we each excel in different areas of STEAM, our thinking processes will also inherently be different; however, because we are so different, we are able to fill in each others’ weaknesses and function as a well-rounded machine, if I may. Despite the difference in strengths and weaknesses, the processes of thinking within our group are quite similar. We try to accomplish things and solve problems through the most logical ways and we like to discuss and exchange ideas in order to minimize redundant and superfluous work. This is part of the reason why the groups work out the way they did, not that I’m diminishing or belittling the other groups, but the individuals within our group are like-minded. This combined with the variety of strengths, I have hope and high expectations for the production of this group.
One thing I would love to get better at as the semester continues is applying math and physics in the design of our sequence and really understanding the process and work that goes into the engineering of a sequence like this. I’ve never really liked engineering but this opportunity will allow me to experience what it’s like to work on a project involving physics, math, and intricate craftsmanship.
As with any project, it is important to set goals to ensure that I am being held responsible for the project, as well as, just overall self-betterment. I wish to be a well-rounded group member and actively participate in the physical aspect of engineering such as the assembly of the props as well as the intellectual aspect of design and innovation to make our project stand out. Through documentation of my processes, I will be able to show that I am engaged in these aspects of the project. This goal is ambiguous and generic because the roles have not yet been defined. However, I can guarantee that no matter the role, I will try my best to fulfill the previously mentioned goal.