Engineering is responsible for creating the ideas for the layout of the robot. They work closely with Production, Electrical, and Code to visualize the look, feel, functions, and parts of the robot. They start by brainstorming, then go to pen and paper, continue by prototyping and lastly put their design onto SolidWorks.
The first stage of Engineering is brainstorming. In most seasons, the brainstorming is accomplished the day of Kickoff, with some of it continuing into the couple days afterwards. The brainstorming helps to analyze the game strategy, and get a better idea for the robot in the end. The brainstorming is also a good way to allow more of the team to be involved, especially the departments not geared for building.
Second is the analysis stage. In this stage, we take the ideas that were discussed in the brainstorming stage, and compare the ideas to the game challenge to figure out which ideas we should go through with. This stage of Engineering, like brainstorming, is normally over with within the first few days of build season as there are many important things that need to be figured out such as which drive train to use, and the parts that need to be ordered.
Third is the pen/paper design stage. In this stage, they get the basic design of the robot down on pen and paper for future use. This stage is normally pretty quick, and is the precursor to the main stage: Prototyping.
Prototyping is the most tedious, but most necessary, stage of Engineering. It is the precursor to the building of the robot itself, and normally takes a long time. This stage allows for members of other departments to participate as prototyping can be done by many different groups.
Normally, Engineering directs the first week of build season. After all, their design is what guides us to the final robot in the first place! There is normally a lot of pressure for this department during build season, mostly because Engineering controls how fast we can get to the building, and building is easily the most time consuming stage.