Saturday, January 29. 2011
So when does the week end and when does it begin? Either way, it is time to start the countdown to bag and tag. Be right back as I go off to count! 😋
24 Days until Bag and Tag Day!
22 Days until Rochester Rally!
and 7 days until Ice Cream for Breakfast Day!!!
Today was a very busy day! The team started meeting at 10 am with bagels and coffee provided by Mentor, Amy D. The school was already abuzz since this is also the day of the Penfield HS PTSA Fantastic Finds Sale – a giant rummage – garage – tag sale! Team members, both students and mentors took time out to go and browse and some came back with their own fantastic finds. Parentor Sharon and I each scooped up eight place settings of Christmas dishes!
This was also a day of treats for the team! Team Advisor Teacher Ms. Latona brought in brownies and cupcakes which went well with subs and cookies provided by Jason’s family. Later in the day, Mentor Tom K’s wife sent up a basket of brownies and cookies that were extra from the Bake Sale. And with dinner (Baked ziti and salad brought by Quentin’s family) we had more cupcakes and rice krispy treats!
Ok, enough with the food, what about the robot?
The drive train is now fully operational! It went on the ground and was driven around! It was captured on our live stream doing spins and circles! It still needs a few adjustments to the wheel / chain / transmission spacing and the motors seem to need a bit more stabilizing, but it is now available to the programmers!
The robot integration meeting was held in the afternoon. Some of the highlights are that the decision between using an unfolding arm or a telescoping arm has been made – and the work will now begin in earnest on manufacturing the unfolding arm. The manipulator design is all set and parts are coming in. The mini-bot design is getting its final tweaks and the whole team is anticipating the end result! There was a significant amount of discussion on the whole robot’s center of gravity with the combination of arm motion, minibot and deployer placement and the battery / controls board.
The driver controls group is working with the strategy group to finalize the desired actions for the various buttons and joysticks. One of the joysticks looks to me like it could be used to run an entire submarine – Submerge! Up Periscope! Fire the torpedoes!
As always, the programming crew was fun to listen in on. I made the mistake of asking the crew at the Precipice of Despair if they were coding or just listening to music. “We’re coding the music,” came back! Followed by laughter. Other programming sayings from yesterday: “Its only 100 lines of code, how long do you think it should take?” and “Yeah, but did you do the physics of the tubes?”
The field crew was working in the hall past the Precipice. They are building actual driver’s stations this year. They are pretty sweet, and will step the professionalism of the rally up a notch!
The chairman’s group met to work through some of the entries for the essay, and the strategy group met twice, once with the controls group.
We have entered the lull time between the designing and the building phase. So students have been working on the items on our running to-do list including designing new team buttons, creating the t-shirt team logo, updating the team bulletin board, and my favorite, printing out new MSDS’s for the safety notebook. And taking the game test is another activity that has started and should be ramping up in the next few days.
Enough for today!