Gate 2 - Product Dissection (Group 18)
Gate 2: Product Dissection
Gate 2 contains information regarding the current state of the project, changes made in the work and management plans from Gate 1, a guide on how to disassemble the RC Helicopter, and information regarding the subsystems of the helicopter. During this Gate, we have dissected the helicopter down to each of its components and the steps to remove them are recorded.
This gate contains the Product Management: Preliminary Project Review and the Product Archaeology: Product Dissection.
Product Management: Preliminary Project Review
Cause for Corrective Action
Our initial plan as stated in our timeline in Gate 1 did not work perfectly mainly due to the fact that we received our product late. However, once we got the helicopter, we managed to change our schedule to accommodate this setback and successfully dissected the product on time. The timeline was also readjusted since some members could not make it for dissection sections and meetings due to exams.
Approach for Disassembly
In Gate 1 under Approach for Disassembly we said that 'We expect it would take at least 3 dissection sessions for us to completely disassemble the helicopter, record and analyze all of its components'. We had instead completely disassembled it in 2 dissection sessions. We had also followed through on the plan of dissecting the helicopter, which was removing the blades and plastic body, and then moving in to remove the internal components, recording each component of the system by taking pictures.
In Gate 1, we mentioned it might be challenging to dissect the small components of the helicopter. As we found out during the dissection, there were indeed many small components in the helicopter. However each component that we removed was photographed together with the system they belong to and kept in a zipped plastic bag. All of the pats removed are kept safely in the lab.
A challenge that might be faced by our group in the future would be not all of us are good in editing on the Wiki page.
The management of the group has gone as planned, with each member taking on their responsibilities as part of the team. Some members roles were not needed for this gate but they still helped out in ensuring the completion of the dissection and of Gate 2. We have also created a Facebook page for our group, so that we can share information and messages to each other more quickly compared to just email.
Product Archaeology: Product Dissection
- 2 x 1.5mm Philips Screwdriver
- 1 x 2.0mm Philips Screwdriver
- 1 x Cutter Pliers
- 1 x Long Nose pliers
- Hex Wrench 2.5mm
Degree of Difficulty
To describe the ease of disassembly, a meaningful scale to rate it is required. Our scale of difficulty ranges from 1 to 3, one being the easiest and 3 being the hardest.
|1||Balance bar and Top blade set||Taking apart of the the balance bar and the top blade set was not a problem since all it took was unscrewing the screws using the Philips screwdriver.||
|2||Lower main blades||Repeat with step one for the lower main blades but as for the removal of the lower grip set had to be delayed since we had to remove some parts from the main shaft first.||
|3||Head cover and Tail plastic body||Removal of the external body, head cover and tail plastic body. This was a simple task because these parts required just hands and a little bit of unscrewing some screws.||
|4||Ascending and Descending landing parts||Removal of the Ascending and Descending landing parts are relatively easy. Involves removing the screws with the Philips screwdriver.||
|5||Li-Poly batteries, LED lights and Tail motor set wires||Once this is accomplished, the wiring for the Li-Poly batteries, the wiring that connects with the tail motor set and the led lights is now visible. Separate these parts from their wires. Now the led lights and Li-Poly batteries can be removed.||
|6||Tail blade and Tail rotor module.||We move on to the tail blade and the tail rotor module. After separating this part from its wiring, we just remove the tail blade and tail rotor module from the aluminum tail because it’s wiring is within the aluminum tail. Dissecting this part is relatively easy, involves removing the some screws with the Philips screwdriver.||
|7||Aluminum tail and Tail supports.||Now we remove the aluminum tail and tail supports. This step involves removing the screws but some of the screw’s head were facing downwards so we had to be careful when removing them because it might just fall off.||
|8||Main motors, main frame decoration and motor cooling set||Removal of the two main motors is relatively easy, remove the main frame decoration then, just separate them from their cooling sets by hand. Be sure to separate the motors from the circuit board. Now we too remove the circuit board. Once this is done, we can remove the main frame.||
|9||Gears and Main shaft||Once this is done, we then remove the gears attached to the main shaft. Once the main frame and under frame is removed these parts are easy to remove. Just pull the gears off the main shaft and remove the main shaft as well.||
|10||Antenna||As for the transmitter, just unscrew the antenna off the transmitter without the use of any tools.||
|11||Front and Back casing||Gently remove the front and back casing by unscrewing the screws off.||
|12||Internal components (circuit boards)||This step required separating the components from their wires and using a wrench to further dissect one of the internal components.||
Which parts of the product were intended to be disassembled?
Parts not meant to be taken apart:
The RC helicopter was generally not meant to be disassembled by the normal consumer. The product was meant for casual consumers, not for RC helicopter enthusiast which would probably modify the helicopter to their specifications. The parts inside were seal off by many screw of all sizes that discourages the consumer to take apart. If the parts were meant to be taken apart, the screws would have been a lot bigger. For example, the cover of the remote controller has a screw that was easily accessible and larger than the other screw. That part was meant to be disassembled in order to insert the batteries for the remote control. On the other hand, the screws attaching the circuit board was deep inside the helicopter which requires you to disassemble pretty much the whole exterior body and interior to reach was not meant to be tampered with because it would cause malfunctions if done so improperly.
Parts that were meant to be taken apart:
One part that was meant to be taken apart was the blades for the propellers. The reason that the blades are meant to be taken off is due the fact that the blade will endure wear and tear from rough landings and bumping into objects. So when the blades chip or break, it needs to be removed and new ones need to be placed in. The screws for holding the blades to the holder are in a very noticeable place and are not small so it is easily spotted and can be taken out.
The lift covering the battery compartment is also easily disassembled with just a Phillips screws. Again, it’s easily accessible and seen because it was meant to be seen so batteries can be replaced easily.
The antenna of the remote control was also meant to be taken apart. The reason behind this for storage, you put the controller in a bag, you do not want the antenna to snap while being transported so the design is to make it detachable so damages can be avoided. Also it detachable to make it easily replaced it were to be broken. It would be an easy replacement, so the remote control would not be rendered useless.
What subsystems are connected?
The subsystems that are connected are the RC Controller, circuit board, motor and blades
The subsystem connecting the RC controller to the circuit in the helicopter is connected through a signal. The users interaction with the RC controller is transmitted to the receiver in the circuit board of the helicopter via radio waves.
Electrical energy drawn from the battery power the motor which transfers mechanical energy to the shaft and to the top and rear blades.
Why are they connected?
The subsystems are connected to ensure that the overall system works properly. The Helicopter will only fly if it receives the signal from the RC controller, the motors will only work if circuit transmits signals to it, and the blades will only rotate if the motor transmits energy to it. If the subsystems were not connected, this chain of commands would be broken and the helicopter will not fly.
How are the connections implemented?
The antenna on the remote control transmit radio waves to the receiver in the helicopter. All the electrical wires that run from the circuit board and pass through the main components of the helicopter are the main way all the subsystems are connected to each other.
Factors that influence design
The design of this product is not really affected by global factors, mainly because helicopters are a common sight around the world and therefore there is not a need to have a drastic change in its' design. The product can also be used in any region around the world. The only changes that can possibly be made is on the plastic body of the product. The design of the plastic body can be redesigned to suit the interest of people in different regions.
During dissection, we found that there is a button located on the remote control of the helicopter that can enable the user to change between beginner mode and advanced mode. This shows that the product has been designed with the consumer in mind, where there is an option for both beginners and experts to fly the helicopter.
The parts that make up the external body of the helicopter are recyclable material. In addition, the Li-Poly batteries have good reluctance to explode under duress. The batteries can be banged around, punctured, or dropped and it would not explode. It can be disposed off properly.
The dissection showed us that most of the materials used in making the helicopter was cheap and easily obtained (e.g. plastic and aluminum). This economic factor was obviously considered in the manufacturing of the RC helicopter, as this ensures consumers will be able to afford to buy this product. We also found out that since the parts are cheap, it would be easy for users to buy new parts to repair or upgrade the helicopter.
What is the arrangement of subsystems?