Narrowing down our finalized idea actually took several weeks and overlapped with the designing phase. We began with running through the several broad ideas, just one after another- voice to typewriter, ransom note generator, etc. After landing on the idea of all wanting to do a very "aesthetic and pretty" and "only semi useful" project, we chose to build a beautiful, origami-inspired, floral, blooming project. The ideas were largely amorphous at the inception. Throughout the project, though, we decided to trade a natural, realistic look for a whimsical, fairytale feel.
We began with making several sketch models of smaller componenets and test driving using an IR sensor for motion sensing. When getting into the nittier, grittier details, we came to realize that we all had slightly different ideas of what was going on. To help map and communicate this out and come to a singular idea, we storyboarded our ideas with printed storyboard sheets used for filmmaking. We took pieces of each and decided on one idea as a team.
Making the actual designed had to take into consideration all of the needs of each subteam. The arch needed to be modular and accessible for movement and reaching the wiring for the machinery. Wiring in turn needed to accommodate then number of sensors and servos involved as well as be able to wire distances longer than most projects. firmware needed to control the motors based off of the sensors, which needed to be positioned and angled just right.
In addition to making everything work well upon integration, one of our overarching goals was to have something "pretty". While we consider ourselves engineers, we often forget the necessity of having a project that looks very nice in addition to the functionality. Through each sprint, we wanted to keep this idea deliberately in each of our decisions.
This is where our individual experitise in each field mattered most. The pieces were largely split between the subteams and each person's abilities, though we each had a hand in helping one another. The archway was shopbotted, sanded, and painted and pretty much every member helped out. Putting together the arch was a team effort and soon we began to wire everything up. Each task was broken down and put onto our Trello board online. It helped keep us on track and organized so we could knock out one thing after another until we had our finished product!