We use the FTC Engineering Design Process in everything we do here on Team 7729.  This process helps us to come up with the best, most innovative solutions to our problem and work as a team, maximizing the resources we have and following the FTC Core Values.

1.  Ask

What are the problems?

We first find out what we need to do to surmount each year’s FTC challenge.

What are the constraints?

We go over all the rules together to make sure that our robot fits within the FTC rules.

2.  Imagine

Brainstorm ideas.

We work together to come up with as many ideas as possible for our robot so everyone’s bright ideas are included in the creative process.

Choose the best one.

We use a democratic process to decide which idea is the best, making sure that everyone gets a vote.

3.  Plan

Draw a diagram.

We draw diagrams of everything that goes into our robot–wheels, wiring, 3-D printed parts–so when we build the real thing, we get it just right.

Gather needed materials.

We make sure we have everything we need to build the robot so our plan can be executed successfully.

4.  Create

Follow the plan.

We always make sure to follow our plan as closely as possible, only changing it if necessary.

Test it out.

We try out every part of our robot after we build it to make sure everything runs perfectly before competition day.

5.  Improve

Discuss what could work better.

We win as a team, and lose as a team, and we keep those values in mind when discussing what could work better for our team, making sure to highlight both the goods and “others” and ensuring that there are no hard feelings at the end of the day.

Repeat steps 1-4 to make changes.

We know that we never truly finish this process, it’s a cycle and not a finite string of events.  We go back and change things when necessary to make our robot even better than before.