The Mentorn Paperwork
Our deadlines came and went for submission of the various forms and paperwork demanded by Mentorn. Sometimes we wondered whether they would give up on us and tell us "too little" or "too late" or "try again next year". But we managed to get the basics through OK and Mary-Jane Evans was amazingly tolerant about our delays.
Charlie As Project Manager
Yes, I said Project Manager. We never gave Charlie this title, but with hindsight he probably qualified as one. As most projects do, our Robot Wars venture went through highs and lows, and if it hadn't been for Charlie's tenacity, our project would have flopped many times over. I reckon the following would be 'qualities' of a typical Project Manager:-
Keeps an eye on the final objective
Watches how much is spent
A well known rule about managing costs and resources is to measurethem. If they're not being measured then they can't be managed.
It was Charlie who drew up our lists of expenditure-to-date and you can see the earliest page opposite.
Gets others to cough up the cash !
Motivates the team
And Charlie construed to motivate us. Not very often, but often enough.
Uses charm to smooth over the inevitable hiccups
On at least three occasions, we left Charlie to telephone the lovely Mary-Jane Evans at Mentorn and talk us out of a hole. Yes, I admit that credit should go to Mary-Jane for her flexibility, but you can understand our relief that Charlie and Mary-Jane established such a good rapport.
Highs and Lows
The highs were wonderful, for example :-
1. Seeing our lump of bare MDF board, two Bosch drills and two lawn-mower wheels scraping and bumping along the pavement under radio control for the first time, and
2. Collecting our new shell from Matrix Mouldings and realising we had at last got a hope in hell of building a credible robot.
The lows were sad, for example :-
1. Over a week's work of component buying, soldering and wiring all lost, when our DIY electronic speed controller melted. Here's a hint : don't try to design and build your own speed controllers.
2. Having to scrap our first shell design because the original moulding company went bust.
Back To The First Paragraph
Our DIY Speed Controller
Please call back later for news of this sorry soldering saga.
My Role In The Project
That's a very good question! Beware! If you call back to read this later you may be assailed by some heavy philosophical musings.
This page last modified 2007-04-15