Thursday, January 21. 2010
What we ate for dinner! Andy’s family served us tacos and all the fixings tonight! Hard and soft shells, taco meat, cheese, green peppers, salsa… There was a special veggie black bean and garlic mix. Our beverage selections included water in little bottles (and other drinks)! And get this! Dessert was ice cream bars and Popsicles!
The integration meeting was held before dinner. Supermom Val took notes for me again today!
- Programming needs to start testing code on the prototype bot. They would really like to know what the upper mechanism will be and what will be moving on the robot. They would also like more info from both of the electrical sub-teams.
- Electrical sub-team is wiring the mock board so that it can be mounted on the drive train. The battery’s position has been determined.
- The controls sub teams mock board is complete and waiting for the board (above) to be mounted. The joysticks are here!
- Mechanical sub-teams: After changing from the chain system to the belt system, they are determining what they need for a clutch mechanism. They need to start to draw it all up in inventor. The center of gravity looks good! For the hanger, the calculations for two 24″ or two 18″ cylinders are complete and they are working on the calculation for the motors that would be used for a winch.
- Drive-train sub-team put the hubs on the wheels. They need side-guards to keep balls from going under the robot.
- Field sub-team now has one of everything made except the ball return.
What day is it?!? Safety Talk Day! Tonight we covered three safety topics. #1 Horseplay (is for horses!), #2 Dealing with Stress, #3 Safety in the Closet (we have a new closet which has rapidly become too small and cluttered.)
Food orders were taken for the Finger Lakes Regional (FLR) competition.
Today was also Mentor Appreciation Day! The students gave the mentors a resounding round of applause and made an adorable thank you card that they all signed.
After our team meeting, the sub-teams have dispersed to their various meeting areas.
Shauna and Becca are experiencing a little bit of consternation. They have the Fisher Price motors that have come in our Kit-of-Parts and have counted carefully that the pinion gear has 16 teeth. According to the FIRST documentation, it should have 19 teeth. Checking the threads on the Chief Delphi website (a major FIRST team forum) they have learned that several other teams have motors with less than 19 teeth on their gears. It looks like they will be dismantling the motors to replace the gears!
The control team is checking out the “breadbox” that is required for connecting the cypress chip, and are concerned that the connections will not be as secure as they could be if they could solder them.
The pieces of the field have finally expanded past the size of the storage in the wood shop, so parts have been moved into the pod. The tower measurement has been verified as very close to the 7′ dimension. Whew!
Mentor Tom C. took a run to Home Depot to get some epoxy for the drive-train treads, for t-nuts for the bumpers!
End of the evening activities! The mock boards have been completed and the base electrical system has been mounted. The robot base has been carried to the hallway for its inaugural test. Unfortunately, there were IP and connectivity issues and so the first run will be re-attempted on Saturday. Sigh.
Just for kicks, Mentor Larry put the mocked up robot on the scale and had a coronary when he saw the weight was 126.6 lbs.
I saw that the sponsor/patron e-mail went out today with the first newsletter. It looked AWESOME! We couldn’t do what we do without our sponsors and patrons and I think the newsletter really helps us to build an ongoing relationship with them!
Many students have been leaving early this week since mid-terms are approaching and it is crunch time for classes! But I have to say how totally great the students have been as we finish up this second week of build season. It is very difficult if not impossible to find a student not actively engaged in a sub-team activity or doing real homework. I always love to see when the team hits that time in build season where it really starts to feel like a family. They’ve started to figure out what their tasks and roles are and the level of competence is increasing dramatically!
The returning students and mentors are getting very excited that Mentors Kim and Eric will be here this weekend! It will be fun to show off what we’ve accomplished so far and how well we’ve learned the lessons that Kim worked so hard to instill in us as a team!
Ok, I’m out of time! One last thing…