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Weekly Updates


posted Feb 5, 2013, 6:19 PM by Patrick Link

Today we worked on wiring the robot. We wired the power wires and data cables for jaguars. We also worked on drilling holes for the shooter.


posted Jan 18, 2013, 6:07 PM by Patrick Link

Today we worked on the shooter some more. The simple box would not spin the wheel fast enough, so we are going to put in a chain drive that has a large gear on the motor, and a small one on the wheel. I got kind of distracted with the shooter and did not see what the other groups were doing. I have not put any videos up for a while, but I will bring an actual camera this Saturday.


posted Jan 15, 2013, 6:12 PM by Patrick Link

Today the code people started working on a way to use a camera to track the reflective tape used in the game. It did not go that well, but they hope to get it working still. A very nice accurate one wheel shooter prototype was made. We are now working on a final version of the idea. The climbing teem is working on a thing that climbs up to sort of like an inch worm.


posted Jan 12, 2013, 1:44 PM by Patrick Link

Today we tested the two wheel shooter, and it does not really work at all (shocking right?). We are working more on the one wheel design that gives the frisbee the spin it needs, but we need to wait until someone can bring in a router to carve out the curve for it. The climbing teem started making a prototype, that involves pneumatics and sliders. The theory is that it will go up the pyramid like a inch worm. Software people programed some jaguars to control CIM motors.


posted Jan 10, 2013, 7:21 PM by Patrick Link   [ updated Jan 11, 2013, 5:51 AM ]

Today the shooter teem worked on  the two different designs. The two wheel shooter looks very nice, but we have not tested it yet to see how well it works. The climbing teem continued to come up with ideas, and draw them on the whiteboard. Rumor has it they have decided to make a prototype of one.

1/25/12 - 1/27/12

posted Jan 30, 2012, 8:57 PM by Abram Nothnagle

We have built and tested an new bridge lowering mechanism. It's basically a ramp attached to the robot, but it's dimensions are what make it work perfectly. In testing, the robot could lower the bridge at any speed from any angle, all without any moving parts. This will likely be the design that we use on the competition robot.
The bumpers have been completed. This year we're only covering the corners of the robot, hopefully this will give us more to work with.
The prototype shooter is being rebuilt. Everything is being realigned to more precise dimensions, but we're experiencing trouble with chain. CHAIN!!!
The electrical tote has been reorganized and cardboard cut-outs of the various electrical components have been created. The idea is to make a model of the wiring for this years robot before we actually build the real thing.
A group is still working on the picking mechanism. They've gotten well through the design phase, and should have a final design soon.

For now things are going well, our prototypes are performing surprisingly well for how makeshift they are, things are looking up.


posted Jan 25, 2012, 8:09 PM by Abram Nothnagle

Today we finally decided on a shooter design. After a heated debate between the catapult design and the roller design, the rollers finally pulled through. The biggest reason for not using the catapult was the amount of motion it has. A catapult could potentially damage the robot, get caught on things, and mis-align itself.
Ernest, last year's robot, wasn't working at the start of the meeting, it couldn't connect to any of the computers. After much fiddling, however, it was finally made operational and was taken for driving practice.
Harvey is now being dismantled. Today we took out several of the rollers from the conveyor belt to salvage them for their plastic caps. Reportedly, each cap would have cost $3 if we were going to acquire new ones.
Much of the meeting was spent designing. After we decided on the dual roller shooter, we continued on with brainstorming about the picker design. Now that we know how we're going to shoot the balls, we can start working on a hopper and picker to fit.


posted Jan 22, 2012, 12:03 PM by Abram Nothnagle

We've decided to begin building a chassis for this years robot. It's necessary to have something to build on, we're getting to the point where we'll want to start working on the robot itself. We basically just took the test chassis that we've had for a while and altered it slightly to accommodate the mecanum wheels and size requirements.
The problem with last years robot has been fixed. It turns out that the last possible configuration for the robot was the one that fixed the light. Long story short, we now have two functioning robots.
Today we got people back into the cafeteria to drive the robot again. We used the robot from two years ago while the programmers worked on last years bot. Much of the time was spent letting people experiment with driving, but we eventually tested out a prototype for lowering the bridge (which has been completed). In the test, the wheel on a board design managed to lower the bridge, and the robot could successfully climb up on it at half power. We should have no trouble crossing the bridge, assuming we can implement the lowering mechanism.
The camera that we will be using for targeting has been outfitted with a ring of green LEDs and tested on the vision target. The results are astounding. The vision target lights up like a TV screen, and the LEDs don't get in the way of vision. The pivoting mount for the camera was also assembled while the camera was being tested. Now all we need is the turret and we can theoretically start testing aiming.


posted Jan 22, 2012, 11:51 AM by Abram Nothnagle

Last years robot has undergone a major overhaul. The rats nest of wires has been largely cleaned up, and all unnecessary parts have been removed.
Apparently last years robot was broken during the last meeting. The light stopped working, and so the robot stopped working. We spent a while trying to fix the problem, but no luck so far.
The mecanum wheels arrived, and we've begun putting them together. We've decided to use them on our robot again this year, they've been amazingly successful in the past, so why stop now?
The programmers continued to work with the Kinect and get the program ready for the robot.


posted Jan 16, 2012, 5:35 PM by Abram Nothnagle

The two wheel shooter prototype is up and running. We managed to do a couple test shots, and the contraption was fairly accurate. The majority of the balls missed the hoop, but that was likely due to human error given that the entire prototype was being run by people as opposed to the robot itself.
The replica field bump has been completed, and a wedge was attached to the front of last years robot to allow it to climb over. The robot is capable of making it up onto the bump, but because of low clearance, the bottom of the robot gets stuck. This problem will be easily remedied by simply adding more ground clearance or by putting an extra wheel somewhere convenient.
We broke out the Kinect today as well, and started messing around with it. Mostly we were just testing to see what it could do, we likely won't put it on the robot because of potential interference.
The basketball hoop that Zach Swanson so generously lent us has been outfitted with the vision target that will be present during the competition. The plan so far is to use a camera for the automated turret, so hopefully this vision target will be useful for prototyping.
A couple members took some time out of the meeting to create a generalized equation for aiming the turret on the robot, but so far their results are questionable. Luckily, a general equation has already been made, in case the student run equation fails.
The prototype for the single wheel shooter has been started, but it is not yet finished.
Overall, the meeting was quite successful, and we had a sizable turnout. This year is going well so far.

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