2013 Build Season Update: Week 4 Activities

The mechanical team finished assembling the drive train. The electrical team finished the main electrical box. Both teams are working together to mount the electrical box on the drive train.

A sub-team is mounting the pick up mechanism onto the front of the drive train. Another sub-team completed construction of the shooter. Next step is to attach it to the drive train.

The programming team completed the robot pseudo code. The pseudo code provides the logic programmers use to develop the actual Labview code.

2013 Build Season Update: Week 3 Activities

Our mechanical subteams have been hard at work. Students working on the drive train have cut spacers, assembled wheels, and sized and chained the ‘bot. Other students are finishing the braces for picking up frisbees and are currently designing four bar linkages for climbing the tower.

The programming team completed a new drive train program that should improve robot acceleration and speed. The CAD team is redesigning a customized gear box. The electrical team is installing Victor motor controllers on the robot side panels. This will save us room in the electrical box.

Our goal is to complete the robot by week 5 so we can participate in pre-ship mock competition.

2013 Build Season Update: Week 2 Activities

Our students have been working hard on designing our robot. The Mechanical sub-team has cut two frames and sent them out to be fabricated. They then painted both frames and are now assembling the drive train. The pick-up and shooting sub-teams have been working on prototypes for the final bot.

The Programming sub-team has continued optimizing PIE control drive train.

Our students working with CAD are nearly finished with drawing our shooting system and our drive train and are starting to draw up designs for pick up.

We finished the Frisbee loader and climbing pyramid portions of the practice field.

2013 Build Season Update: Week 1 Activities

This year’s game challenge involves picking up frisbees and  launching them into targets. Points are awarded based on the difficulty of the target. Teams can earn even more points if their robot climbs a tower.

To address these challenges, we divided into four subteams: shooter/pickup mechanism, climbing mechanism, programming and electrical. We also have students specialists work on Computer Aided Design, marketing, and design prototypes.

Team members brainstormed for robot design ideas during the kickoff weekend. Following this activity, our first project was to build simple prototypes. Students claim they used quantum mechanics — or maybe plain old physics — in developing prototypes.

From the prototypes, students used Computer Aided Design, CAD, to develop schematics for the drive train and the frisbee shooter. We will deliver these schematics and our drive train frame to team sponsor Superior Joining early next week. Students hope to be present while they do welding work for us.

2013 Build Season Update: Kick-off

Team 2039 launched its 2013 build season with a kick off meeting at Eigerlab. In the morning, students and mentors watched the kickoff ceremonies that introduced this year’s game: ULTIMATE ASCENT. They devoted the afternoon to developing robot design ideas and game strategies.

Parents joined in by planning construction of a playing field which we will use to testing our robot design and practicing our driving skills.

2013 Build Season Update: About the Game

UltimateAscent_smallULTIMATE ASCENT is played by two competing alliances on a flat, 27 x 54 foot field. Each Alliance consists of three robots, and they compete to score as many discs into their goals as they can during a two (2)-minute and fifteen (15)-second match. The higher the goal in which the disc is scored, the more points the Alliance receives.

The match begins with a fifteen (15)-second Autonomous Period in which robots operate independently of driver inputs. Discs scored during this period are worth additional points. For the remainder of the match, drivers control robots and try to maximize their alliance score by scoring as many goals as possible.

The match ends with robots attempting to climb up pyramids located near the middle of the field. Each robot earns points based on how high it climbs.

2012 Build Season Update: Week 7 Activities

Crunch time! During week 7 our sub-teams had to integrate their work. We finished construction of ball capture and pickup system, the ball accelerator, and the shooter. Students assembled them onto the chassis/drive train. The electrical team completed wiring controls and sensors. And the programming team optimized the code that controls the robot.

Last minute tasks include finishing the bridge arm and programming the shooter.

The stop build date is Tuesday, February 21. We have to “bag and tag” our robot and can’t touch it until we open the bag at the regional competition. As we built two robots this year, the team will continue to prepare for the competition by using the second obot to perfect our driving skills and game strategy.

2012 Build Season Update: Week 6 Activities

We may have been a bit ambitious with our plans to build two robots. Our new plan is to build only one ball collection and accelerator system which can be easily swapped between drive trains.

The systems-electrical subteam finished assembly of one electronics box and mounted it on a chassis. They are now building another electronics box for our second drive train. Software design is complete. Students are now writing programs to operate robot components.

The chassis/drive train team learned that you can’t anticipate everything in your CAD design. Even though the chassis was constructed as designed, there were construction challenges. Two frame supports were removed due to alignment of the gear boxes. Our strategy of making two drive trains will allow us to test different wheels. Pneumatic wheels were installed on one drive train and regular wheels on the other. We will have to determine which provides better locomotion while keeping in mind the how much weight the different wheels add to the robot.

The ball accelerator sub-team had to rethink their design. As a result of the precision required by original accelerator design, they decided to construct a simpler system.

By the end of next week, the team plans to have a fully functioning robot and be practicing our driving skills.

2012 Build Season Update: Week 5 Activities

We used our CAD drawings to cut chassis frame parts. Thank you to Superior Joining for welding the over 70 joints together. We are now working to attach wheels to the frame and mount the gear boxes and chains that will drive the robot.

The electrical team is finishing up the modular electrical box. It will control the robot’s operation.

The ball capture and pick-up sub-team cut out all of the pieces to their appropriate lengths. Additionally, students used the band saw to cut pvc pipe into rings. We glued these rings in another piece of pvc pipe. We will use this part to safely hold the polycord which pulls the balls into the shooter system. Several of our team members also participated in the driver competition.

The ball shooter sub-team has been working on the accelerator to fire the balls. The motor still needs to be attached. Next is testing our design.

The animation team has bee brainstorming on designs for the main character that will be featured in our animation. Also, we have been coming up with ideas for characters that will be in the background of the video. Right now, we are planning on making the background characters look somewhat like each member of the team. We hope this will add individuality to our final product.

Choosing the right drivers is an important part of our game strategy. Team leaders Eli and Mark developed a rubric for comparing driver skills. Potential drivers used last year’s robot to:

      • Drive between cones, both forward and backward.
      • Drive blindfolded while getting directions from a team member.
      • Drive as close as they could to a marked line without going over it.

The goal of these tests was to evaluate the potential driver’s dexterity, communication skills, and ability to deal with stress. We will announce our robot drivers to the team in the coming week.

2012 Build Season Update: Week 4 Activities

This week our team worked to finish all our pre-construction tasks including CAD designs, systems requirements, and playing field construction. We also started assembling some parts such as an electrical box and the ball accelerator.

The electrical and programming team is working on software design. They create the design to define the logic needed to operate particular robot subsystems. Each subteam will use their software design and convert it into the code the controls the robot. Students are wiring a standard electrical box power which includes a distribution board, control, and all the electronics for robot. The wiring translates the inputs and outputs into actions such moving the arm up and down or the drive train backwards and forward.

Our robot design includes a camera mounted atop the shooter. As the shooter moves the camera will focus on a special light reflecting tape that marks the target. By centering on the tape, we can accurately aim our shooter and hopefully score baskets.

This year our plan is to have a few student programmers assigned to each subteam. To make sure programming is consistent between subteams, students and mentors developed a systems requirements document. This document spells out all electronic and programming needs. It specifically lists all necessary electronic equipment such as motors, controllers, wiring, sensors, and photo eyes. It also clearly defines the programming associated with each component of the robot, including manual and automated controls.

The CAD team is finalizing dimensions and adjusting parts so everything works together. Students finished the frame, and ball loader designs. They are still working on the shooter and arm extension design. Based on the CAD drawings, drive team members cut and labeled aluminum tubing prior to sending it for welding. Superior Joining Technologies is doing the welding for us.