Circuits Team Weekly Rally

For the past few weeks, the MAAV circuits team has led a productive routine, onboarding newer members with important skills and knowledge necessary to develop the PCBs that will become core internals of our vehicle. The past two meetings have started off in similar settings —senior members Ashish and Isabel sitting at the edge of our meeting room’s table, with a neat agenda written in large letters on the whiteboard behind them. Ashish opens with upcoming deadlines and events announcements including a circuits presentation that they will present at the meeting for MARG, a joint organization between multiple Michigan Robotics Teams.

He also discusses the importance of completing their implementations of newer Altium Libraries, which will be critical in the design and development of the circuitboards that will let our vehicle function. The teams’ work on these libraries stems from the transition from EAGLE to Altium as the primary circuits design software tool. Although Altium provides advanced features such as signal testing and cost predictions, it is a new environment that does not have MAAV’s former EAGLE designs. As a result, the team has focused on overcoming this initial barrier by recreating their former EAGLE designs in Altium.

While attending one of their meetings, I witnessed Ashish and Isabel conduct a soldering lession for the newer members. As Ashish demonstrates his expertise with two different soldering environments, he elaborates on proper techniques and good practices of soldering. After his initial example, he has the other members try their hand at the two types of soldering, with Isabel and Ashish each at one station overlooking their attempts.

Overall, the circuits team dynamic is very organized and work seems to be progressing at an excellent pace. I look forward to what the circuits team will bring once they have been integrated the Altium libraries and the newer members become more adjusted to the team’s projects.