Group 26 - Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster

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Gate 1

1. Introduction

This stage of the project will focus on planning. Here we will be presenting the Project Assessment and the Project Management, which will be broken down into two parts: the Work Proposal and Management Proposal. In the Work Proposal we will go over how we plan to dissect the Strongarm and what tools will be needed to complete the dissection. In the Management Proposal we will go over the assigned positions that each member of the group has been assigned, a meeting schedule showing when the group plans to meet, and an email address that the group can be reached at. And in the Project Assessment we will go over what is known about the Strongarm covering these topics about the Strongarm: its development, usage, energy transformation, complexity, the materials it is made from, its interaction with the user, and any alternatives to the Strongarm.

2. Project Management

This section will cover the Work Proposal on how we plan to dissect the Strongarm and what tools will be needed and also the Management Proposal.

2.1 Work Proposal

i. Plan for Dissection

Some of the members of our group have experience with taking apart and enhancing nerf blasters. Using that experience we will carefully take apart each section of the Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster

              1. Tools necessary for dissection:
                   Not many tools will be needed to take apart the Strongarm. The tools that we will need are: a phillips head screw driver, for loosening the screws, a flat head screw driver, incase it needs to be pulled apart with more then just brute strength, and a flashlight, to see into areas that that are covered by other parts. Zip lock bags will also be used, not to take apart the Strongarm but to hold the small pieces that will come off of it.
              2.  Possible Challenges:
                        There will be many small screws and other small parts that are used to make the blaster function. Keeping track of those will be made easier if they are contained in zip lock bags. Also the Blaster is meant to stay together so taking it apart and not breaking parts of it will be another obstacle that will have to be overcome.
              3. Capabilities:
                   The group has the capabilities to take apart the Strongarm it only requires a screwdriver to be able to take it apart. Putting it back together will be more challenging than taking it apart. The capabilities that will be most important will be in remembering where the parts go so that when it is put back together it will function properly.
              4. Capabilities to Develop:
                   If there are any capabilities that will need to be developed they would be remembering how each part of the Strongarm is assembled and being able to put it back together once the project is complete.

2.2 Management Proposal

i. Roles

    After a discussion with the members of the group these positions were assigned to the members of the group:
         Nicholas DiPasquale: Project Leader, Project Secretary
         Jordan Ebbinger: Technical Communicator
         Andrew Hunt: Product Supervisor
         Sandeep Solanki: Co-technical Communicator
         Ryan Corey: Lead Technician 

ii. Meeting Times

    The group has decided to make the days that we will meet to be:
         Monday and Wednesday  from 5pm to 6pm for the weekday meetings and Saturday from noon to 2pm if all the work is not completed during the two sessions during the week. Mondays will be used as an assessment day to determine what needs to be accomplished in the week by setting the weekly goals and will also be used as a day for work. Wednesdays will be used mostly as a work day making sure that the weekly goals are met and assessing where we are in respect to the next deadline. Saturdays, as stated before will be used as an extra day of work if the weekly goals were not completed yet because some of the group members work over the weekend, which makes getting the entire group together difficult. However, it needed as many members will meet during that time frame to get the rest of the weekly goals completed.

iii. Possible conflicts:

    Should any group member have a conflict as to what their duty is the tasks of the members are outlined below:
         Project Leader: Attend all if not most meetings, be a source of information for all group members incase someone is not sure as to what is going on and to make sure that work is getting done on time and being done correctly. Missed meetings must have a valid excuse and be accepted by the other group members for the Project Leader to miss the meeting.
         Lead Technician: Know the ins and outs of the Strongarm and how all of the parts work so when it comes to putting the Strongarm back together it will be simple. Should the Project Leader not be able to attend the meeting the Lead Technician will be able to lead the group through the meeting.
         Technical Communicator: Be the main source of contact between the group members, Phil, Andy, and any teacher assistants. They will be in charge of making sure that emails to the group are known and gotten by everyone and that if there is a problem or question be able to communicate that with Phil or Andy. May also act as the Project Secretary if needed
         Product Supervisor:  Maintain all parts of the Strongarm throughout the entire project, making sure that the Strongarm is brought to all of the meetings by either themselves or given to another group member so that it is at the meeting.
    As for liability for any broken parts of the Strongarm there was a contract signed by all members saying that if needed they would be willing to pay a small fee to get a new product. If it is broken during the group meeting time or use, it will fall under the signed contract, however, if broken because of recklessness that member(s) will be responsible for supplying a new product.

After a meeting with the group on Sunday Oct. the 6th we came up with our assessment of the Strongarm by answering some questions about the basics of it.

3. Project Assessment

This section will be describing the groups analysis of the Strongarm that was completed from just a basic observation without taking any of the parts apart.

3.1 Development Profile

The group approached how the Strongarm was developed by answering these questions, which are followed by their answers:

    When was the Strongarm released? December of 2012
    What were the economic and global concerns during the time this Strongarm was developed? There were no major global concerns at the time that this Strongarm was being developed, oil may be expensive but plastic it reusable to some extent. The economic concerns would be related to the Strongarm were, would it sell to the average person. With an economic crisis possible would people still be willing to spend $12 on a toy?
    What countries is the Strongarm sold in? The Nerf company is a global organization, but it was found that the main countries that the blaster was sold was in the USA and Singapore. The Strongarm could be found in many of the Target, Walmart, and Toys R Us stores as well.
    What is the intended impact on the user and society from this Strongarm?  This is a toy. It is meant to entertain the user by allowing them to shoot at targets causing minimal destruction.

3.2 Usage Profile

The questions that were answered by the group concerning its uses were:

    What is it's intended use? Its intended use is to entertain the user.
    Is it meant for home or the professional environment? It is most certainly meant for the home environment. Bringing a Nerf blaster to the work environment would only be required if you were testing out the blaster for your company.
    What is the job that this Strongarm performs? The Strongarm is a toy so there are no jobs it really performs, unless you consider being able to shoot the water bottle off the table a job.
    What tasks are required to use the Strongarm? There are no real tasks to using the Strongarm. You just have to load it, aim, and pull the trigger.

3.3 Energy Useage

The questions that were answered by the group concerning its energy usage were:

    What Kinds of energy does it use?
    How is energy put into the system?
    How are the different types of energy transformed through the usage?

This was answered in more of a general summarization because of the low level of complexity that the Strongarm has. It converts the energy that is stored up as potential energy by the spring into kinetic energy propelling the dart forward. The user puts the energy into the blaster by pulling back the loading mechanism and the energy is modified from the potential in the spring to the kinetic energy in the dart from the trigger releasing the pressure, which is then sent through a air compressor to get the most amount of kinetic energy out of the spring.

3.4 Complexity

The product itself is pretty simple. The questions that were answered about its complexity were:

    How many components are used? 
    How complex are the individual components? 
    How complex are component interactions?

There are a total of 4 components to the Strongarm: the loading mechanism, the trigger, the barrel and the darts. Most of the components are vert simple the interactions between them are a more complex. it is mostly througha series of springs and other parts that allow the Strongarm to fire. After the dissection is complete a better understanding of the interactions will be known. From the experience of our group we know that there is most likely a plunder type mechanism that allows the blaster to shoot.

3.5 Material

This product has a basic material to it. The questions that we looked at for the materials that it was made from were:

    What materials are clearly visible?
    What materials do you think are present but not visible?

Well the blaster itself is made from plastic and the darts are a kind of foam with a rubber like material on the tip of it. There were some springs that were visible but there may be larger springs and gears that are on the inside of the blaster. Also the air that is used to shoot the dart is not visible.

3.6 User Interaction

To figure out the interaction of the blaster we had some group members test it and had these questions answered:

    How does the user react with the Strongarm?
    How much understanding does the user have to have to use the Strongarm?
    How easy is it for the user to use the Strongarm
    Is regular maintenance required?

There are 4 different ways that the user can react with the Strongarm, they load the darts, aim at a target, shoot the dart, and they can also be shot at. The understanding level is very simple, all you need to know is how you load the gun so that you can shoot it. The Strongarm is very simple to use and the only thing that might be considered maintenance would be recovering and loading the darts after they had been shot.

3.7 Alternative Products

The questions that were answered by the group concerning what the alternatives to the Strongarm were:

    What alternatives exist? and what are the advantages/ disadvantages of the alternatives?
    How do the alternatives compare?
    What's the cost difference?
    When might you use the alternatives?

There are many alternatives that can be used instead of the Nerf Strongarm. There is a whole other line of blasters that Nerf has that could be used. There are blasters that shoot discs instead of darts like the Nerf Vortex, and there are ones that shoot much farther and are larger than the Strongarm, such as the Nerf N-Strike CS-6. There are also other companies that make similar blasters and are cheaper. The advantage and disadvantage only comes around on what you are using the blaster for. If you want to shoot farther you would get one of the bigger blasters, if you have a smaller wallet you selection of the blaster you would get it also limited. As to which one is better, they are mostly the same just some are made for more of a specialized distance. If you use another brands type that would be because of a personal choice, most of the time you would get the a similar product for a cheaper price.


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