Thursday, March 4. 2010
Thunderfoot, come out of your box and play!
The uncrating crew headed to RIT very early this morning to start the process of unloading the robot and building the pit. Our crate splits in half and makes the walls and shelves of the pit, so setting Thunderfoot free also starts the very intense process of establishing a pit space.
Leaving school for the day, our drive team, secondary drive team, pit crew and lead scouters were accompanied by a group of chaperone parents, mentors and Mrs. Latona as the teacher advisor for the day.
The pit crew had it’s hands full with a long to-do list that included replacing many parts with lighter versions including the beater bar, the front ball stops, rear under motor cross member, front under motor crash bars, and so on…
Meanwhile the scouting crew under the guidance of Mentor Kim (a little role reversal for Kim and Larry!) dealt with their own set up and was plagued with laptop issues throughout the day.
The robot made its debut on the field at its second scheduled practice session and was driven by the secondary crew. This was just to test the drive train as the rest of the mechanical components were not completely rewired. After another work session the robot took the field for another practice session, but had what seemed like some connectivity issues. Finally running for the second half of the session and we got to cheer it on as the drive team tried to balance on the top of the bump.
Many of the other robot teams were also testing, trying and tweaking. Mentor Jeff was kept busy with helping other teams with programming issues, and Labview Larry got to try his hands at resolving a few issues as well. We all missed having Mentor Eric E. as the third programming partner, he would have been busy as well! The pit “shop” was busy loaning out parts and other support from white paint to wheel mounts to borrowed tools.
By this time, most of the rest of the team had arrived with Mr. Brewer. Serious pit scouting started and the students had various opportunities to help get things in good shape for tomorrow.
Practice sessions over, the robot now weighted in at 121.2. Time for serious weight loss. First on the chopping block, the camera. Hopefully we will find more places for weight loss and be able to put it back on before the end of the season. Long fasteners were trimmed, holes were made in the lexan mounting plate for the electrical panel, the battery tray was trimmed, pivot plates trimmed, and finally the mounting plate for the camera was removed. Reweighed, Thunderfoot came in at a svelte 119.6 pounds.
The inspection process went full bore. Sizing, check. Bumpers, check. Drew a lightning bolt on the electrical main for ease of spotting, filed down a few sharp edges – check, check.
Passed inspection around 7 pm.
While the rest of the team ate Moe’s – thanks to Kyle’s organization and to Kyle and Mentor Leann for the pick-up service – the programming team was dialing in the stops on the kicker foot and the switch setting verification for the winch. They seemed pleased with that. Similar to an issue that Thunderplucker experienced, Thunderfoot has some shifting signal with the Jaguar speed controller, but they were confident that it could be resolved.
The evening ended with the moving all of the stuff from the stands into the pit.
I didn’t get a chance to take any photos, not even of the awesome camo netting – I’ll do my best to get some tomorrow!