Design Engineering
Showcase

Pelation

Student
Medad Newman
Team
Product Development
Supervisor
Dr Sam Cooper
Role
Design Engineer
Sector
Industrial Manufacturing

My work at Pelation centred around the company’s flagship product, the REBO, a bespoke dash cam for courier bicycles. I was deeply involved in product development, both in hardware design and software. The company successfully deployed the prototypes to the customer and feedback has been excellent.

In the start-up environment, I had to play a part in decision making and most engineering tasks. I have come a long way in improving my skills in Software Development and Computer Aided Design by learning and implementing best practices. Besides technical skills, I have developed communication skills in dealing with colleagues and suppliers.

 — Pelation

Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

I improved skills in software development techniques in the areas of software architecture development, version control, release process management, issue tracking, software testing and collaboration with hardware engineering colleagues to solve hardware/software issues.

I carried out some mechanical design work for the camera enclosure. I learned to design with speed and fewer errors to prevent rework later down the line.Later I hand assembled prototypes, carrying out Printed Circuit Board assembly, inspection and testing. These were deployed to the customer.

During product testing, I carried out user interviews to get user feedback. I probed them about specific issues and observed their behaviour in relation to the company’s camera. Feedback was acted upon and improvements made to the camera.

Role and Contributions

My role as the Design Engineer was to develop a complete camera product from ground up that was light weight, portable, and works in harsh environments. It's compact, battery powered, weatherproof and connected to internet. I did everything from planning, development all the way to release of product. It was cross domain work in Mechanical design, Software, Electronics, Thermal Management and Design for user experience.

I worked closely with my colleagues to design the physical hardware in the camera using CAD software as well as in software development, in the Python and C programming language. I developed the codebase from ground up with some guidance. The code managed the battery, power consumption, user interface and camera control. Ensuring long term reliability and ruggedness was an important feature in the code and in the mechanical design of the camera. I had to optimise the code architecture to fit in all the code into a small microcontroller on the camera.

Software development Key stats:

  • Closed 147 Issues
  • 1283 commits (across 3 repositories)
  • 7 releases

The company has been able to build and deploy the cameras at a very impressive speed, in less than 5 months of development. I could half the development time, sharing the load with the Technical Lead in the project. Due to the speed of development, and the fact that the company has a Minimum Viable Product(MVP), the company now has a first mover advantage in this market for bicycle mounted cameras. The user testing has been valuable in making improvements to the current design.

 — Pelation
Specialised courier bicycle, with large cargo hold. Rider pictured beside.

Summary

I thank God for giving me this internship, especially at the peak of the Coronavirus Crisis here in the United Kingdom. I also thank him for helping me develop as a Design Engineer, and especially for helping me solve some very challenging software bugs towards the end of my internship.

I thank Crispian Poon and Elizabeth Yu for hiring me, and for the excellent experience.

 — Pelation
Having a discussion with user.

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