Group 11 - Syma S107G RC Helicopter - Yellow

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Contents

Gate 1

Introduction

The purpose of this gate is to assign individual group members their roles for the overall project. Along with preparing for dissection and giving our product an initial assessment. Our product is the Syma S107G R/C Helicopter. In the Project Management section we will provide a plan for dissembling and assembling our product. With that we will designate and outline the individual roles and responsibilities of each group member. There will also be a meeting plan set in place in which we work on the project and discuss any group conflicts. In the Product Archaeology section, we will prepare for dissection and provide initial assumptions of the product that we observed from first glance.

Helly.jpg

Product Management

In order to successfully dissect this product we need to construct a plan for dissection and make everybody in the group aware of their responsibilities.

Work Proposal

Plan for Dissasembly

In order to access the internal components and give them a proper analysis we will need to dissect the product into all of the individual components. This will require a systematic plan and approach. The process will require the use of various sized Phillips head screwdrivers.

First, we will need to remove the front cover, landing gear and the main vertical propellers along with the balance bar. From there, we will remove the tail props and then unscrew the metal frame from the computer chip and various gears, which will allow straight access to the plastic gears and electrical wires. The plastic gears and wires will then be free to be removed once the metal frame is no longer holding them in place.

Screwdrivers.jpg

Perceived Challenges

Some perceived challenges that we may encounter is the size of the helicopter. All of the components of the helicopter are very small, which results in there being many tight fits. This will require a decisive plan which lists out, in order, which part will be removed to avoid having to take out parts at random. At this time, our group is currently able to disassemble the helicopter. All of the dissection can be accomplished using the jewelers Phillips head screwdrivers. Our group will have to research how an electric current can be used to spin gears.

Management Proposal

Members and Their Roles
Name Contact Information Position Role
Robert Gucker rlgucker@buffalo.edu Project Leader In charge of providing assistance wherever need and editing all final submissions
Michael Kirschenheiter mskirsch@buffalo.edu Wiki Specialist In charge of formatting and displaying all information via Wiki
Shageenth Sandrakumar shageent@buffalo.edu Technical Support In charge of providing assistance for the dissection/reassembly process and analyzing the individual components
Nick Dejoy ndejoy@buffalo.edu Dissection Specialist In charge of the dissection and reassembly process
Greg Auyang gtauyang@buffalo.edu Documenter In charge of recording all information and documenting images from dissection/reassembly process
Scheduling

In order to ensure the deadlines of the four gates will be met in a timely fashion, we have established a meeting place and time every week to work on the project. Our meeting time will be every Wednesday after class and we will meet at the Capen library. This may be subject to change depending on the schedules of the group members. Each meeting will have a different goal depending on what is due in the upcoming weeks. We will accomplish most of our progress on the project during these meetings so that there is not much individual work outside of group meetings to be done, enabling us to look after each others work. At the beginning of each meeting, each group member will give his input on the project and we will collectively devise a plan to what we will work on that day. Creating a plan will give us an easy-to-follow outline and make us more efficient in the time we have to spend on the project. Following the creation of the plan, we will begin working on the project. Each member will be given an equal amount of work for that day, and and all questions will be up for a group discussion. Concluding our meeting, we will have a period of time which we will spend on reviewing each members work. This is where we revise spelling, grammar, and the content of the material. We will end the meeting taking all of our content and displaying it through the Wiki. Here we will format and structure the material so it is presented in a clear and coherent manner.

Conflicts

In the expected arrival of a conflict occurring within the group, we will have a plan of action to take so that the process will go over as smoothly as possible. Most of the work will be done in the meetings but if there's such a case that a group member is not pulling his own weight, all group members will be there to prompt the member to be more efficient. If a deadline is approaching and our group is far from completing the required work, we will hold an emergency meeting to catch up on the work and get back on track. This will be arranged by the Project Leader who will schedule a meeting that is best for the group and is one that agrees with everybody's schedule. If an issue arises and we need to contact a course instructor for clarification or permission to do something, this will be done so at the weekly group meetings.

The End Goal

The following section begins to focus more on the product itself instead of our group and how we plan to accomplish the project. In the following section, we analyze and differentiate the different profiles of our product and how they relate to the product as a whole. Things such as: how the product was developed, the different types of energy that work simultaneously to make the product work, the materials that the product is composed of, the different interfaces and how they enable the user to interact with the product, and a look at the product competition within the market.

Product Archaeology

When dissecting a product it is important to know not only how it works but why certain decisions were made which ultimately resulted in the end product. This requires complete understanding of how each individual component comes together to make a product work.

Development Profile

The first electronic R/C helicopter was designed in the 1960s by a man named Dieter Schluter. Model helicopters were more sought out to design because they were easier and cheaper to build than an actual helicopter. They could also provide more insight into how larger helicopters performed, because they were easily replicable. The Syma S107G helicopter is one of the latest in the long line of electronic helicopters, being the most well-known and widely accepted helicopter created by Syma. The Syma S107G was built to satisfy the average customer, performance and financial wise. The product has a minimum cost of 20 dollars and has a wide range of extra features, such a gyroscope. The low cost and extra designed features were created in order to reach out to a wide range of audiences from novice users to helicopter enthusiasts. Syma advertises its product to a global community by only sending online shipments to their customers, which allows the company to provide their products for a cheaper price. Syma also states that their aim is to provide innovative and original products to their customers. The Syma S107G is intended to allow more people to be able to enjoy and use toy helicopters, with its affordability and relatively low price, and its flying features. Syma hopes to establish a wider market with this product.

Usage Profile

First Time Use:

The intended use of the Syma S107G R/C Helicopter is for recreational amusement. The helicopter is intended to be flown by people ages 14+ and by user with little to no experience with R/C helicopters.

Product Performance:

The helicopter is intended for recreational use. The job of the helicopter is to amuse the user by flying and being able to be flown with relative accuracy and ease.

The helicopter has one function but can be used to achieve many objectives that are dependent on what the user wants. One user may want to simply fly around a large open room while another will make an obstacle course to fly through. The task ability to be completed is based on how well the user can control the helicopter.

Energy Profile

The Syma S107G derives its power from two main types of energy, mechanical energy and electrical energy. The RC Helicopter draws its electricity from a state of the art 3.7v 240mAh Li-poly Battery. This Battery is a lightweight component which can hold a significant amount of power (for a flight time of approximately 15 minutes). This lightweight battery allows the helicopter to weigh significantly less; this entitles that the helicopter flight would require less energy. The helicopter’s battery gets its electricity via charging. There is a portable USB compartment on the side of the helicopter which allows the helicopter to draw in electric charge from an external source. The helicopter simply draws in electricity from a power source, stores the electricity into a battery, then uses an electric motor to move the gears. In energy terms, the helicopter stores electrical energy that transforms it into mechanical energy through its electric motor. EnergyDiagram1.gif

Complexity Profile

The design of the Syma S107/S107G R/C Helicopter is intended to attract the novice helicopter enthusiast. Because of this, the design is rather simple with few complex components. When designing the product, the designers knew that a minimal price point would be much more attractive to the consumer base than many complex components that add many exciting features. While attempting to drive the price point as low as possible, Syma used the most basic and cost-effective components as possible. But, because this is still a rather sophisticated piece of technology using electrical and mechanical components together, it does have some complexity. When stumbling upon a complex component, it is best to make a generalized simplification of the product making it much easier to assess. By looking at what the component does and how it effects the overall product rather than what it is made of, the analysis process becomes a bit easier. Through the entire R/C Helicopter, there are several components that work together to power the rotor system which eventually lifts the helicopter off of the ground, and several components in maneuvering the rotor causing the helicopter to change direction. Overall, there are three main components that interact to accelerate the propeller and cause the helicopter to lift off of the ground. The rotor system, the electric-powered motor, and the gear train system. Working simultaneously together, the motor provides power to the gear train system causing it to spin, and then gear train system relay's that energy to the rotor system. In order to maneuver the rotor system, the use of a gyroscope is needed to pivot the rotor system ever so slightly, allowing air to pass through the propeller blades causing the helicopter to move. Overall, the individual components are not very complex, but when you piece them together as a system, there are many interactions and relationships between the components that make it quite sophisticated.

Material Profile

We examined the helicopter and all of its visible components, and then we compared our list of visible components to a prior list of everything that is known to be needed to have a functioning helicopter.

Visible Components
Plastic Cover
Metal Frame
Two Large Plastic Propellers
Gyroscope
One Small Propeller
Several Screws
Four Plastic Gears
Tail Decorations
Two Metal Tracks (landing gear)
Two Battery Cells
Electrical Wires
Non-Visible Components

The RC helicopter runs on electric charge therefore it has to have some wire system present that isn’t completely visible from the outside. In addition to not being able to see the wire system, there is also an electric motor that isn't visible as well.

User Interaction Profile

In order to test how easy it is to fly the helicopter, each group member along with non technical friends and roommates were given the opportunity to fly. This allowed us to see how quickly others, as well as ourselves were able to learn how to control the helicopter, if at all.

User Interface

The main interaction between the remote control helicopter and the user is through the remote. There are two analog sticks on the remote, both with different purposes. The left analog stick controls a potentiometer which controls the speed of the blades determining how much lift the propellers will create. The other analog stick controls the rear propeller which determines a direction for the helicopter to fly in. This system is extremely intuitive and each member when given the opportunity to fly the helicopter, was able to simply be handed the controller without any instruction and control it with ease after only a few crashes.

Maintenance

The only maintenance required for the helicopter is recharging of its batteries and replacement of the batteries in the remote. Recharging can be done by plugging one side of the charger into the helicopter, and the other into either the remote, or into a USB port. Also if a part were to brake, there are options to purchase replacement parts which requires only removing the old part which is no longer desired, and screwing in the new one. These repair kits are only a few dollars, resulting in a very cheap and non-time consuming maintenance.

Product Alternative Profile

Comparison

By using the table below, we are able to compare our helicopter with similar products. R/C helicopters have a large range of features which usually come with a large price difference as well. Many of the cheaper models will attempt to mimic the more costly models in order to bring a good product to a larger audience by offering it at a lower price.

Name Size Main Building Materials Features Cost User Level
Syma S107G(Fixed Pitch)

Helly.jpg

7.5in(Length)

7.5in(Main Rotor Diameter)

Metal and Plastic Two rotor design with external gyroscope above blades. 3.7V 180mAh Li-Po battery. Limited to 2D flight maneuvers, with no adjustments possible. Dual motor and gear system directly driving main and tail rotors. Utilizes servo technology for precise control response. Used for indoor flight. $18.88(amazon.com) Beginner(No Assembly Required)
Red Bull BO-105 CB CX RT(Fixed Pitch)

Red Bull.jpg

7.87in(Length)

7.48in(Main Rotor Diameter)

Plastic Two rotor design with external Gyroscope. Capable of 3D flight maneuvers. Utilizes servo technology for precise control response. 3.7V 150mAh Li-Po battery. Used for indoor flight. $49.99(Hobby-Lobby.com) Beginner(No Assembly Required)
Blade 120 SR RTF Heli(Fixed Pitch)

BHEL.jpg

12.5in(Length)

12.5in(Main Rotor Diameter)

Metal and Plastic Single Rotor design with external gyroscope. Utilizes servos for controlling direction. Only 2D flight maneuvers possible. 3.7V 500mAh Li-Po battery. Designated for indoor and light wind outdoor flight. $159.99(Hobby-Lobby.com) Intermediate(No Assembly Required)
Blade SR RTF Electric CP Micro Heli(Variable Pitch)

BHEL2.jpg

19.1in(Length)

21.8in(Main Rotor Diameter)

Metal and Plastic Single Rotor design. Adjustable climb, pitch, and roll setting. 3D flight maneuvers possible. 11.1V 1000mAh Li-Po battery. Heading lock Gyro for in flight stability. Direct drive tail motor. Sturdy two piece main frame used to prevent damage if crashed. Full part replacement in case of damage. Designed for indoor and light wind outdoor flight. $199.99(Hobby-Lobby.com) Intermediate(No Assembly Required)
Blade 500 X 3D BNF Basic (Variable Pitch)

BHEL3.jpg

33.5in (Length)

38.2 (Main Rotor Diameter)

Machined Aluminum and Carbon Fiber Designed for flight outdoors. Flybarless design for faster use to achieve faster head speeds leading to more accurate maneuvers. Uses a MEMS Flybarless stabilization system for stable flight when doing 3D maneuvers. Easy to adjust to make the helicopter fly and maneuver the way you want it to. Use of servos, bearings, and belt drives. 22.2V 2900mAh Li-Po battery. Full parts replacement available in case of damage. $899.99(Hobby-Lobby.com) Advanced(About one hour assembly time)
Advantages
  • Alternative helicopter designs may come in larger sizes with better stability system to allow for outdoor flights due to the fact that they can account for the wind.
  • Larger helicopters also allow for a larger battery to be onboard leading to longer flight times and the possibility of motors with more torque and speed.
  • As your price range increases more intricate maneuvering systems can be on board the helicopter leading to 3D flight capabilities, such as rolling the helicopter. This is not possible on cheaper models which can only increase and decrease altitude and turn left and right.
  • The use of better, stronger, and lighter materials can be found when purchasing a more advanced and higher priced helicopter.
Disadvantages
  • The main disadvantage to buying a more advanced helicopter is the price, which can approach and go well beyond the thousand dollar range. This may be suitable for some but will far exceed the budget range for many.
  • With more advanced maneuvering also comes more advanced controls. This means that someone who has never flown an R/C helicopter before will not be able to pick up an advanced helicopter and fly it as well as someone that has.
  • Size could also be a factor for a customer looking for a more advanced helicopter. Generally speaking, the size of a helicopter with advanced maneuvering will come between two and three feet. If someone does not want a helicopter that big, they will have to settle for something that does not have advanced maneuvers.
Cost Differences of Alternative Products

The difference in cost of products is directly related to the amount of features of the helicopter. Our product is a relatively cheap model compared to many of the R/C helicopters. This leads to only 2D flight capability and it is made of relatively cheap materials. As you increase in price, new features become available such as 3D flight capabilities, the use of carbon fiber, advanced gyroscope technology and increase in size of the helicopter that allows for flight outdoors. (See table above for price vs feature comparison)

Situational use of Product

To choose which product you will use is completely dependent on your situation. If you are looking for a R/C helicopter that you can fly outside, then the intermediate and expert helicopters are needed to cope with the wind. Depending on how you want to fly the helicopter, whether 2D or 3D, will also factor in when deciding which helicopter to purchase. When purchasing the larger more advanced helicopters, there are some factors to consider. With a larger helicopter there are more components and larger batteries. This leads to better and longer flight, but also increases the overall energy footprint over the life of the product. Age will also influence the choice of product. These products all have at least a 14+ age recommendation on them. However, a 14 year old will most likely enjoy the twenty dollar option without a lot of features and if crashed, it will not be a huge loss. Someone experienced with flying these R/C helicopters is who would most likely purchase the most expensive and advanced options.