Step back and focus

8 03 2007

Sometimes it’s too easy to sit back and throw out ideas about clever innovations that could make the sub more intelligent, easier to debug, more modular, etc. There comes a point, however, when the design must be finalized so that implmentation may continue (or begin). This jump from design to implementation is difficult to make, and it is even more difficult to schedule that jump.

Ideas will pour from our minds until they cease to operate. However, with the competition only four months away, the time for design-altering ideas has passed. Our limited development team with limited time, due to classwork, research, and various other commitments, must now focus on completing the base system. This is not to say that we do not have expansion in mind– we can plan for these by creating an open-ended base system (MS RoboStudio helps tremendously here), but the implementation of fancy intelligence algorithms and sharp GUIs must wait.

A word of advice to others undertaking large robotics projects: Don’t lose sight of the main goal. Take a step back every once in a while to analyze your situation and your progress, and set yourself on track if necessary.