We hit a little snag during Week 3 since it was mid-term week, so many of our students were M.I.A. to study for their exams. The school is still gracious enough to let us use their facilities for our build sessions, but nevertheless we are still behind schedule. We still need to finish our detailed-design drawings and prototypes, which is something we hope to have done by the end of this weekend.
We have, however, been making decent progress with our drivebase and prototypes.
Students finished assembling the drivebase a few days ago, so it ended up looking like this:
It was spray-painted (black because it is a non-moving mechanism) and the wheels, gears, and motors were attached to it. Meanwhile, the electrical students created the electrical panel and then worked with the mechanical students to mount and wire it to the drivebase. Some kids tested it out last night, and all of the gears meshed and it drove!
Our programming students programmed the electrical panel and are currently doing their thing with the controls and our autonomous mode, which is the 15 second period at the beginning of each match where the robot operates using pre-programmed instructions. Right now the program has the robot drive past the base line, which scores 5 points, and then deliver a gear to the airship, which gives us points when we start one or more of the rotors. In between working on those programs, some of the new students are receiving more training before the large majority of programming starts later in the build season.
We have been going back and forth a lot with our shooter design (which is evident when you look at the multitude of prototypes we've created and reworked over and over again). At first, we wanted it to be able to shoot several fuel at a slightly staggered rate. Then, we decided to only try and shoot one fuel at a time and added a guide rail to increase it's accuracy. But now, we've decided to go back to our initial idea and try and shoot three fuel at the same time, with the added guide rails. A group of mechanical students assembled the initial design using wood just to get a visual of how big it will be. Right now the motors are being attached and will be tested later on before we begin either assembling the final design, or create yet another prototype (although, fingers crossed, this really does seem like the final design).
On the left you can see the frame the shooter will be in. The top right shows the three different guide rails that will go onto the shooter, and the bottom right shows the preliminary CAD model of the shooter with those rails.
Other students are creating a CAD for the final assemblies of the drivebase, shooter, and gear holding mechanism. Below, you can see what we have so far for the CAD model of the final robot assembly:
And remember that whole discussion going on about whether or not to use treads or buckets in our intake system and we ultimately decided on the bucket system?
Yea, that discussion. Well, here is the inside scoop on how we came to that decision, directly from a primary source:
It was a scene straight out of “Hamilton.” Three mentors and two students, who had been arguing for a week about the design of the conveyor system, entered a room and didn’t emerge until a final design had been decided. This was the third major redesign, and it will be the final, whether or not it really works.
We try to make decisions as democratically as possible, with nearly the whole team voting. However, we’ve found that these votes usually leave many people unsatisfied, take much longer than necessary, and don’t give enough weight to the people who are actually going to make the subsystem. For this decision, we had a small group of people talk through all the details and make a final decision. I was lucky enough to be in the room when it happened.
Only 24 days until Stop Build Day!
Don't forget to check out our vlog channel and watch our Week 3 vlog!
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.