Group 9 2012 Project Planning
Project Management: Request for Proposal
In the work proposal, there will be detailed information outlining how our group, Group 9, intends to go about dissecting our Nerf N-Strike Rampage Blaster for reverse engineering purposes. We will then use the information that we find to determine how the Nerf gun functions and use our judgment to come up with a way to re-engineer the product so that it can function at a higher level. All of the necessary steps to be taken will be discussed such as; how the dissection will be documented, the tools used, and the steps that will be taken to be sure that the dissection goes in the smoothest fashion possible.
Reverse Engineering Procedure
In order to reverse engineer the Nerf N-Strike Rampage Blaster, our group will first dissect the product to see its inner-workings to gain an understanding about how this gun functions. This will be done by disassembling the gun and taking photographs along the way to be certain that we know just how this product was put together. Once this information is gathered, we can then proceed to find any possible flaws that might have occurred when this product was initially manufactured.
In the dissection process, our group will be using both a ¼ in. and 1/8 in. Phillips head screw drivers to remove the screws that hold the outer shell of the gun together. Once that is removed, we expect there to be many intricate parts and springs that operate the firing/loading mechanisms for the gun. To keep all of this orderly for later interpretation and reassembly, we intend on photographing every step along the way as every part is removed as well as putting the parts into corresponding labeled bags. This ensures minimal confusion for the group so that an accurate description of the dissection can be portrayed in the report.
1/4 and 1/8 in Phillips screwdrivers- to remove the outer shell of the gun
Camera- to be used for documentation of the dissection process
Zip-Lock Baggies- to keep all the small parts from the gun in an order after dissection
Group Member Dynamics
|Jeff Verrall||Tim Whetstone||John Laper||Matt Palombo|
|CAD, Inventor, Microsoft Office, Leadership||CAD, Inventor, Microsoft Office,Time Management, Organizational Skills, Penmanship||CAD, Inventor, Microsoft Office, C++||CAD, Inventor, Microsoft Office, C++, Technical Skills|
|No Wiki experience, Time Management, Grammar, Spelling||No Wiki experience, Public Speaking||No Wiki experience, Time Management Spelling||No Wiki experience, Time Management, Organizational Skills|
|Matthew Palomboemail@example.com||Technical Expert||Will lead the group through the dissection portion of this project. Mainly responsible for where each part goes on the gun, and what its function will be. Will also be responsible for the format of the wiki page.|
|Jeff Verrallfirstname.lastname@example.org||Project Manager||This position ensures that the entire group is working together. Will assign each group member with a section of each assignment, and will make sure that they complete that part before the due date.|
|Timothy Whetstoneemail@example.com||Communication Liaison||This position will be the main communicator with the professors and TA’s. They will also be responsible for making sure that each group member will know the time and location for the next meeting.|
|John Laperfirstname.lastname@example.org||Documenter||Will be responsible for recording the steps of disassembly and assembly of the gun. Will take pictures after each major part of dissection and will record what has been done in that part.|
In order to keep our group in line with the due dates, and to ensure that the work we are submitting is of the highest possible quality, we will employ a number of strategies. Firstly, we will be sure to have at minimum one meeting each week. The time will depend on each members schedule that week. The location will depend on what task we have set for that meeting. The communication liaison will be responsible for getting each group member’s availability weekly, and use this to create the next meeting. This weekly meeting will allow each group member to make sure that they are on track with the overall project, and not falling behind. The project leader will use this time to allocate the sections of each gate to the group members, and set the due date for that section, keeping in mind time to edit. We will most likely not be able to finish all that is required of our group in just one meeting. So we will add extra meetings each week as we see fit. This will be especially important once we get to the dissection stage of the project, which will require the group to work together for longer periods of time. For editing, we will each edit the sections that we write on our own. Just to be sure that all spelling and grammar is perfect, we then will have another group member read over and edit the section once it is posted on the wiki page. It also increases the chance of catching errors to have someone else read it besides the writer. From there, group members will be able to make direct changes if they find any errors. If we are to encounter any conflicts within our group, we will immediately have a meeting in person to work out and resolve the problem. We need to do this in person because it will allow a faster recovery from the conflict, and decrease the change of miscommunication.
Product Archaeology: Preparation and Initial Assessment Questions
When the Product was Developed
The name “Nerf” has been a common household name for children who have been involved in generally active sports for generations. Beginning with simple products in the company’s earlier years such as foam footballs, and basic pistols that fired small foam suction darts, and foam vests, the company began to become a staple in action sports around households for young children of ages six and up. After years of releases and re-releases of their different levels of “weaponry” and recreational sports, the company developed it’s more advanced and customizable branch; the N-Strike. In 2003 the developers and engineers at Nerf began to utilize “military technology” such as attachment rails, advancements in previous attempts to use automatic clip loaders, different color schemes, and various attachments such as tactical lights, lasers, archery bows, tactical vests, and even video game installments. These new additions to the N-Strike branch added an entirely new stream of revenue for the Nerf company. In the midst of all of these advancements, Nerf created the Raider CS-35. This was a groundbreaking model for the company as it boasted the highest magazine capacity of 35 darts and a slam-fire capability where the user could fire darts at a rapid pace by simply moving the grip up and down the rail. With obvious flaws in this toy and many others, Nerf created its new line of dart guns, the N-Strike Elite. These “new” weapons were mostly the similar shells of previous weapons, but with “upgrades”. With the revamp of the Raider CS-35, the gun needed a new name; Rampage Blaster. This new toy had similar functions to the Raider, but had very helpful upgrades. The ammo drum was totally reworked, now only holding 25 darts instead of 35 but this now avoids a common jamming problem that took place with the darts. Overall, much improvement was made with each “stage” of the N-Strike Package.
Key Economic and Global Concerns at Development Time
During the development of this toy in 2012, there was an outrage over a child army building in the Uganda under the control of Joseph Kony. After a video went viral over the internet exploiting this man and how he would kidnap children and “brainwash” them into fighting for his cause, there was an unprecedented effort in the United States to push to stop this man’s army from growing. With the introduction of these new weapons appearing to be more comparable to real life guns based on the different actions and kits that you can apply to the toy, it can be foreseen that parents might have objections to purchasing these realistic toys for their children, which might significantly affect sales.
Economically, Nerf and it’s N-Strike team must be able to find a new and efficient way to advertise, evolve, and manufacture this new toy line in such a way that they can increase their profits while still maintaining a steady rate of sales comparable to the older, Raider model.
Countries and Regions to be Sold
The Nerf N-Strike Rampage is a product that will be sold domestically and worldwide via major retailers such as Target, Walmart, Toys R Us, etcetera, as well as online through distributors such as eBay, Amazon, among others. Worldwide, this product will be available to everyone, but due to certain health and safety regulations, the actual specifications of each toy might be different from what is sold here. Differences may include but are not limited to, type of dart used, differences among spring constants in order to enhance or reduce the speed and distance which the darts will travel, and type of materials used to mold and paint each toy.
Intended Impact on Consumer and Society
This N-Strike Rampage Blaster is intended to impact the activity level of children, and even parents alike. With a new form of activity given to the consumer of the Rampage Blaster, it will surely induce physical activity within the user and can be argued that it can be used as a form of exercise for children. The overall goal of the product should be to recreate an existing product to make it more durable, cheaper to produce, and more enjoyable to use.
Intended Use of Product
The Nerf-N-Strike Rampage Blaster is strictly intended for children. It provides endless hours of fun for children in a safe, productive way. It gives children a safe alternative to products like bb, airsoft and paintball guns. The Nerf-N-Strike Rampage Blaster provides endless amount of fun for children ages 6 and up.
Home or Professional Use
This product is designed for home use targeting children because it is relatively safe if treated with care. The soft darts also allow kids to entertain themselves all over the house while causing no damage to common household items.
What Jobs does the Product Perform
This product performs task on both sides of the spectrum. The Nerf-N-Strike Rampage blaster keeps children busy for hours, while allowing adults to get whatever they need done without having to worry about the safety of their child. The only downfall of the gun is the possibility of the gun breaking sending small pieces elsewhere. Caution needs to be taken if the gun breaks because it can cause choking hazards for small children and pets. Also, darts should not be left around the house if the house has multiple pets because animals can chew on them and even choke. Although, these downfalls are rare precautions need to be taken to prevent any injuries.
What Types of Energy Used
For this gun, we believe that the entirety of all energy comes from spring energy. From what we can deduct, when the gun is fired, it is a large spring that is forcing the dart out of the barrel at a high velocity. We also assume that a spring is contained in the magazine which loads darts into the firing mechanism. We will expect to find more springs in other smaller locations for use such as returning the cocking mechanism back to its neutral position, and returning the trigger after it is compressed. We don’t anticipate any other forms of energy within the gun. It does not require batteries or charging, so there won’t be any electrical energy. It also doesn’t require pumping up air pressure to fire, so there won’t be any energy from that either. Since these are the only other two likely forms of energy to be used in a gun of this type, we will only expect to find spring energy.
How is the Energy Imported into the System(s)
The energy is imported into the gun by the user. The gun will require human power to compress the springs used to fire a dart. Without the input of a human user, the internal energy of the gun will remain dormant.
How are Different Types of Energies Transformed and Modified
The only different types energy within the gun based on our speculation, is potential and kinetic energy of the springs. When the gun is left untouched, there is a certain amount of potential energy built up in the springs. When the gun is cocked into firing position, the potential energy of the firing spring is increased massively. When the firing spring is released, it converts all of that built up potential energy into kinetic energy, and fires forward until stopping at its neutral position. The same type of cycle and energy conversion is used for the spring in the trigger and in the pump action arm. The spring in the magazine converts potential to kinetic in shorter bursts. When all darts are loaded in, the spring builds up a large amount of potential energy. As a dart is fired, the spring converts mechanical energy into kinetic energy until stopping when the firing mechanism has a dart in it. The difference from this spring is that the potential energy slowly decreases as it pushes more darts in because we believe it is one spring that pushes all darts in and slowly gets stretched out as another dart leaves the magazine.
The Nerf-N-Strike Rampage Blaster consists of many parts. With this 32 dollar purchase the owner receives the gun, the clip and one clip full of darts. The gun has a round drum clip that comes out on the left side and holds 25 darts. The gun fires as fast as the user can slide the SLAM FIRE Handle. An additional rapid-fire blitz can be added to your arsenal with the Rampage blaster. The darts are made of Styrofoam with rubber tips allowing the dart to soar through the air. The darts are hollow allowing each one to fit into position in the round drum clip. The cocking mechanism slides back and forth on a track sliding a dart into the chamber every time. This cocking chamber allows the user to aim each dart accurately or fire a steady stream of darts while holding the trigger and sliding the pump repeatedly. The owner can also use the Tactical Rails to customize with any Tactical Rail accessory. Each of which are sold separately. This allows the user to increase his/her clip capacity and fire rate.
Clearly Visible Materials
With the Nerf N-Strike Rampage Blaster, the materials that are clearly present to the naked eye would have to be as follows. First of all, the body of the gun is formed from molded plastic to give the product its shape. There are also visible screws that are used to hold either side of the body of the gun together to one another.
Present But Not Visible Materials
The materials that we intend to come across when we do the dissection are as follows. We intend upon finding many springs inside the system. There will be springs inside of the magazine used to load the darts into the firing chamber. There will also be a larger spring that is in charge of holding the potential energy for the system that is used to propel the dart forward as well as another to reset both the trigger and the firing pump after each shot. We also intend to come across many plastic levers and such that connect the trigger to the firing ram as well as connecting many of the other inner components. There will also be many more small screws inside the product used to keep everything in place and aligned correctly when the product is in use.
How does the User Interface with the Product
There are few ways for the user to efficiently and effectively interact with this product. The barrel must face away from the user as with any sort of toy gun and must be held upright to keep the aim in sync with the given line of sight. Shooting from multiple positions behind cover is also an effective way of using the Rampage Blaster in real life combat scenarios.
How Intuitive are the Interfaces
The basic usage of the toy is not hard to understand. After holding the toy in your hand for a matter of moments it would not take long to notice what buttons perform what functions or that pulling the trigger after cocking the forward grip would shoot a dart.
How Easy is the Product to use
The age limit that is put into place for the product (6+) not only shows the product may be hazardous for children under six, but can also show that the toy has a small learning curve when it comes to firing darts and reloading each magazine.
Regulariy of Maintenance
With this specific model, little to no maintenance is required to keep this product performing smoothly. Problems may appear if the spring is tampered with that fires the darts, or a piece of plastic breaks off of the outside of the toy, but other than that, the Rampage Blaster is relatively easy to maintain.
Product Alternative Profile:
There are many alternative products to the Nerf-N-Strike Rampage Blaster. Within the Nerf industry, there are many different varieties in guns. The guns range from sniper rifles to shotguns, single fire to automatic and so on. These products range in price from 10 dollars to 150 dollars. All sorts of different accessories and attachments can be added on to each gun to make yours unique from your friends. Other alternatives to this product include bb guns, airsoft guns and paintball guns. These products are often more expensive and the age requirements are often much stricter. These types of guns are usually intended for ages 16 and up. Another disadvantage of this alternative is the safety surrounding these guns. BB guns can cause serious injury if not taken seriously and should always be treated with caution. The same goes for airsoft and paintball guns. A final disadvantage is that the ammunition for these guns are often more expensive than replacement Nerf darts. Although they have their fair share of disadvantages, these guns provide for excitement for the average thrill seeker. They shoot farther and are far more accurate than any Nerf gun. The user can pick a target from far distances and hit it.