We are definitely making progress! We prioritized what strategies we want to approach with our robot design, and if you’re curious then here they are in priority order:
#1: Be able to drive (obviously) and be able to press the button on the hopper (which are boxes on the edge of the field) that releases the green fuel balls onto the field.
#2: Store about 20 fuel balls, gather fuel from the field, score fuel into the high goal of the boiler from the Key (check out the picture below for reference as to where that is), and pick up a gear from the driver station and deliver it to the airship.
#3: Gather fuel from the driver station.
#4: Climb the rope.
#5: Score high goals from by the airship.
#6: Lowest on the list, score fuel into the low goal of the boiler from the Key
Students split up into groups earlier this weekend based developing the prototypes before presenting to the team about them on Sunday night. We don’t normally meet on Mondays or Fridays until the end of build season, but yesterday the mechanical students and mentors held a special Monday meeting to work on the prototypes more.
Let’s check them out!
(Please keep in mind that these are only prototypes, and that we may not use these ideas in our final robot)
Prototype #1: High Shooter
The wheels on the high shooter spin at high speeds to shoot the fuel into the high goal of the boiler, which is a little over 8 feet high. It's designed to shoot several fuel at the same time, but the shots will be slightly staggered so that they don't hit each other in mid-air. It sounds simple, but so far we have had problems getting the wheels to spin fast enough to shoot the fuel to the height we need.
Prototype #2: Climbing Mechanism
Our climber is a tube with small metal bars sticking out from it. To help us climb, it will start spinning, catch a loop that we are putting on the bottom of our rope, and twist the rope around itself while simultaneously pulling the robot up.
Prototype #3: Gear Mechanism
This prototype acts as a 'pocket' to hold the gears while transporting them, and is able to push the gear onto the peg that carries it up onto the airship. The mechanism is made of mostly lexan and has two doors controlled by pneumatics so that it can leave the gear on the peg and drive away.
Prototype #4: Intake System & Drivebase
“The Chicken Plucker”, our intake system, spins pieces of pneumatic tubing that catch the fuel balls that are scattered across the field, and brings them into the robot.
It is mounted in a prototype of our drivebase, the style of which has been hotly debated over for the last couple of days. On Wednesday night, we finally settled on a West Coast style of drivebase, which has wheels on the outside of the frame (unlike the drivebase pictured above) which are directly driven by the transmission. Since the wheels aren't taking up space on the inside of our frame, this leaves us more room to work with on the inside of our robot.
This year there are two different volumes our robot could be: either 36 in. x 40 in. x 24 in. tall or 30 in. x 32 in. x 36 in. tall, and it can weigh up to 120 lbs. We will decide which volume to use once we finalize the mechanisms we are using for the shooter, intake, etc. But for now, our CADers have created some initial designs so we can start planning out where everything will fit in the robot:
Someday, it will hopefully look more like this:
This was our CAD model from 2015. Fun fact! For safety reasons (and 'cuz it looks really cool), we spray paint moving parts red, and non-moving parts black.
Tonight we are making some serious decisions on our final robot design, including what prototype designs we're going with and which size of robot we will be using. We will report back sometime this weekend with all of our plans.
Welcome to the blog of Rolling Thunder, FIRST Robotics team 1511. The team is from Penfield High School in Penfield, New York and mainly sponsored by Harris Corp. To find out more about the team and FIRST, please visit the Who We Are page.