5.2: Strategic Design

In Unit 1 the engineering design process was defined and thoroughly explained. In Competition Robotics, Steps 1-3 (Understand, Define, Explore) are often known as “Strategic Design”. Strategic Design is the process of determining what a robot should be able to do. In this process you are not trying to solve the problems of what the robot will look like, or how the robot will complete its tasks. Strategic Design occurs before both of those problems can and will be solved. It is impossible to build a successful competition robot without knowing what the robot is supposed to accomplish. It would be like going for a walk without knowing the final destination. You would definitely be able to meander along, but the chances of actually reaching the destination are slim to none. Any attempt to build a competition robot without having done the Strategic Design would still result in a robot, but the chances of it succeeding would not be very high.