Tuesday, 5 April 2016

sprint 2: reflection, David O Mahony

author: David O Mahony
Team:    ESD 


Hello all this is my reflection on sprint two for the lampbotics project. It outlines my personal opinions on how the sprint went, its outcomes and how I believe we should continue into the final sprint. My part of the project was to control the audio side of the project. This was broken up into two sections a Text to speech thread and a audio mask thread to play during motor movements. The threads would have intercommunications and would rely on reading values from other users threads. 

Personal reflection

I found that this sprint was quite enjoyable and found myself spending most of my time on the Text to speech thead. I found it interesting to work on and to alter the setup of the Text to Speech to achieve the best response. at the end of the sprint i was quite close to having fully working code for both threads , and will use the last sprint to complete the setup.

Tech reflection

On the final build day there were a few bugs to deal with. But thanks to luke and kamil these bugs were easily overcome and as seen in the tst video the setup of seeing colours and then using the text to speech to say witch colors it had seen worked well and i was extremely happy with the way it had turned out. from doing this test it's seen that a flag needs to be created between the  color detect thread and the Text to Speech thread, that will flag only when the color has changed. this will stop the code from constantly repeating continually. from running the test we were able to see how the threading worked and how it can be implemented. the thread in general worked quite well, it took in the RGB values sent from the color detect thread. it would take these values and work out the closest colour they represented. one found this was the outputted through audio. the setup worked well and will be easy to implement the code to speck out objects it sees, faces it recognises and general preset gestures. 
The other thread dealt with covering the sounds of the motors when they were used did not fully work on the combining day and i have been working with Kamil whose knowledge has helped me understand where i was going wrong with the code as i had missed some simple syntax needed.
I plan to have the code functional by the end of this week thus an early start on combining the setup can be made. the code would pick a random sound effect from a list when it sees a flag for motor movement and that the Text to speech thread is not running, thus allowing for the selected mp3 to be played. as it would be random it would mean that even if it moved up down ten times each time it would sound different. 
once the two threads are finished i believe it will give the lamp character and personality.  
For this sprint I used the third architecture set out by Kamil in his tutorial. The Text to speech thread would read different sensor values to decide what to say and it would set a Flag to indicate that it was speaking. The audio mask thread would read to see if motors were moving and that the Text to speech thread was not speaking. once these two criteria are met the thread would then output the mp3.

Team reflection

at the start of this sprint the group was split into two teams one team concentrating on the mechanical side of the project, while the other concentrated on the code needed to control the lamp bot. i was placed on the control team titled ESD.  We did our best to break down the jobs evenly and for every person to have a say. everyone was given a task with the out line to have it complete for two weeks and on a third week to combine. my task was to control the audio of  the robot. 
Are team worked well with my self, luke and Kamil regularly going around to different members of our team to see how people were getting on and progressing. This allowed us to better help the team run more efficiently and help when issues arose. it also meant that for myself i could see how my side of the project would interact with my team mates. It aloud me then to plan ahead and see how my own code can develop. 

I feel like my team worked well together and we were able to help each other on are set tasks through constructive conversations. This is highly important as are code relies on each others to work. I look forward to continue working with the team till the end of the project. 

Project management

The last sprint was a heavy sprint with a lot of work being made on new and interesting developments being made from both teams. people put in lot of hard work to get there aspect of the project created. but an area where the project fell down was in the final week were we attempted the combination of elements. This was a busy time and i believe we would have benefited from starting to combine the elements of the project from an earlier date. I would suggest that for the final sprint that the final two weeks be set aside for combining and bug testing. this means that we can find bugs earlier and fix them before it's too late.
I think the group would benefit the appointment of a project manager. while each team has a team leader the project manager would then note and make sure that all necessary jobs on both teams are getting done. this would have stopped some of the confusion found in sprint two were certain jobs had fallen between the cracks as both teams had understood it to be part of the other team's workload. 


This sprint was interesting and found my team worked well and were close to having are set up close to completion. For the final sprint i would sugest that are time is spent combining the code and working out bugs. I think we should stay away from adding any new aspects to the setup without fully completing what we have currently. the one new thing we should look into is the simple observation game suggested by my team in the start of sprint two. this would likly not take too much time and would allow for multiple parts of the set up to be shown in a single demo. the demo would consist of the lamp asking for the user to show a color or object have the user hold up a object or color card and for the lamp to reply if the user picked the right or wrong answer. 

David O'Mahony entry 8

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