In addition to team growth, each member of the team experienced substantial individual growth throughout the project. Read about our individual learning goals and personal progress below.
My personal learning goals for this project were to learn better programming practices and learn how to write software for a complex system. I wanted to learn a bit about system design and integration. I would say that I achieved all my learning goals during this project.
I got the opportunity to write computer vision code to process images and detect motion in six possible sections of movement. This allowed me to learn about opencv and numpy arrays. I also got to learn about how to interface with and use a raspberry pi as part of this project. Additionally I got to do some electrical and system debugging. I also learned a lot about threading and processing in Python.
Ask for feedback from teammates!
My personal learning goals were to work on a complex mechanical design in parallel with focusing on the overall aesthetic of the design. Even though the design did not end up being very complex mechanically, I still learned a lot throughout the process. Before working on this project, I always approached projects by trying to progress continuously and keep up a certain momentum. However, for large team projects, this ends up creating more problems than advantages, because mistakes are made much easier.
One thing that I really enjoyed throughout this project was thinking about the aesthetics of the design. We spent a long time thinking about how we should fold our origami nodes, landing on something that integrated a crucial mechanical piece of the design with a structure that was visually appealing.
Instead of always trying to move forward with different designs, think heavily about the positive and negative aspects of that particular approach.
My personal learning goals were to develop robust firmware that was lightweight, performed well, and was easy to debug/troubleshoot. I also wanted to work on the electrical design of the system and how have a deep understanding of all the interactions between the different software, firmware, and hardware pieces. I feel that I have accomplished my learning goals through my work on the the firmware design and the electrical systems integration.
Throughout the project, I enjoyed working on the team since I felt that we mesh well together and were all cognisant of our learning goals and ensured that everyone was fulfilling their goals. This mutual respect allowed us to work with no personality barriers and allowed us to be very honest with us which helped in the design phases. I thought we could have improved on our time management and overall systems design. Since this project changed so much over each of the sprints, we seriously lacked any overall systems design which resulted in many unnecessary re-designs that ultimately lacked enough time for adequate thinking and informed designing.
My personal learning goals were to improve my mechanical design skills and gain more experience doing rapid prototyping and manufacturing. I feel that I definitely accomplished my personal learning goals and more during this project by making a lot of mistakes and trying a lot of different things.
At the end of PoE I feel much more comfortable using the laser cutter and 3D printer which were two tools that I did not utilize before this project. I also learned how to use Onshape and improved my CAD skills in the process. Last but not least, through all of the poorly informed decisions we made in the mechanical design I have learned the importance of iteration and thinking ahead. During this project I feel as if we approached each sprint with an unhealthy stressed mindset which caused us to feel as if we had to design the whole mechanical system in that sprint instead of planning our design in the beginning so we could.
Approach the design process with a clear head in order to design while keeping the overarching goal in mind.
My personal learning goal for this project was to assume an explicity technical role in the realm of electrical and software design, and consciously make the choice not to become a project manager. I had the opportunity to contribute to the design of our motion detection code using OpenCV as well as our sound detection code, and took an active role in the development of the website.
One learning opportunity I identified as the project progressed was the opportunity to understand and actively participate in the design of a cohesive system. Until our software, electrical and mechanical subteams reconvened to integrate at the end of each sprint, we were often isolated and did not contribute to the other subteams' design processes. As the project progressed and it became necessary for various team members to contribute in areas they weren't as familiar with (for me, the mechanical design) it was a new challenge. I was surprised to find that I was able to offer insight even without any degree of expertise in the field.
While seeking greater technical depth, don't underestimate the value of understanding the bigger picture.