The 5th week of the build season has been filled to the brim with work, work, work. The 3 systems of the robot – the turret, hopper, and conveyor systems – have been fully designed and are being built. But the main issue for the team this week has been the frame. The frame which was required to integrate all 3 sub-systems go a late start, therefore it didn’t get to the welder until late last week. It was cut, pop-rivoted together, and sent off to the welder for tacking together on Friday. The frame was picked up on Saturday to do some work on it over the weekend, and the mounting of the 3 systems was finalized. It went back to the welder Monday, and it’s back so we can start assembling subsystems onto it tonight. The team has finished prototyping the lift system for the bot, the conveyor parts are complete, and the angles for our turret have been welded. Our bumpers have been assembled and we made sure that they weighed the maximum amount – 18 pounds – so our robot can have weight at ground level to be more stable on the slick playing field.
The programming for the robot is almost complete. The programming team have finished the controller feedback, this will give graphical representations of the robot’s functions. The programming of single drive, the camera function, and auto joystick functions for the conveyor has been finished this week as well.
The hotels for are first competition in Chicago are being finalized. The decals that will display our sponsors on the Incredible Hulk and the trading cards are being designed.
We will be burning the midnight oil all week as we try to insure we have a competitive Bot before we ship next Tuesday.
Week 4 has been filled with completing design and ordering parts. We are hoping to begin building the robot next week. As the design phase is almost complete, we will begin the cramming build stage and last minute design and welds/ work on the bot. Though this is somewhat insane, the team enjoys working out the kinks to design the best bot possible.
The conveyor system design has been completed, but some work still needs to be done on this system of the robot. The team has started proto-typing the ball infeed system to make sure the dimensions are correct for the balls to be sucked up into the conveyors. The hopper drawings and specific dimensions are being finished up, and ACI is working on building the floor for our hopper system. The team has also been working on the vision system on the bot, which will use a camera to look for the pink and green indicators on the trailers. With this camera the robot will be able to shoot automatically at the trailers. We are working on the bumpers, and will be sewing our team number on the side of them. The painting of our ship crate is done and our logo really stands out!
One big issue this week has been how to mount our turret system on the robot. The design of the turret has pretty much been completed and the finer details are being worked out. Though this system is one of the most complicated on the bot, we are actually using the rim of a plastic garbage can to mount the turret on to the top of the bot. The garbage can rim will be the base for our turret system.
One great thing that can take place during robotics is the helping spirit between teams. This week the Winnovation team from Winnebago is lending us a helping hand by giving/selling us belts for our conveyor system and urethane tubing. As another aspect of our team, we will be having try-outs for the positions of a driver, operator, and payload specialist. These people will be the field team at the competitions.
As week 4 wanes, the insanity is beginning to build, but the experience of a team of high-schoolers and mentors designing and building a robot in 6 weeks in incredibly worth it!
As week two closes and week three dawns, team 2039 is excited to what this new week of the season will bring… but before we get to that, we must tell you of the epic adventures of robot design during week two!
The design of the robot has taken off. Our design plan for the robot includes having a fast conveyor system that will pick up balls from the playing field, then once the balls reach the inside of our robot they will fill up the space in the “hopper system”. This hopper system will basically be a big bin for ball storage with a floor that will move upwards and push the balls into our rotating turret. The turret will be multi-faceted, it will be able to either dump the balls into an opponents trailer or place them into our goal for a human player to throw them into trailers.
The special ops subteam has finished the design of the conveyor system for the robot. The conveyors will consist of two 3 foot belt assemblies that spin in opposite directions, this will suck the balls up the conveyor and into our hopper system. The system will be run by two motors. We will be approaching sponsors to have some of the custom parts needed for our conveyor system! The special ops team has subdivided even further to design the hopper and turret systems.
The programming team has begun work on, well, programming. The camera, provided in the robot parts kit, has been placed on the kit bot and the team has started programming for autonomous mode, as well as, tele-operated mode. In tele-operated mode our goal for the robot is to automatically aim the turret and shoot balls in an opponents trailer.
One of our new mentors with woodworking skills has built a trailer for us to be able to practice on. On Saturday the chassis team cut and welded the general frame together, with the help of a mentor from the Winnovation team. We are sure there will be more welding needed and we hope to engage Superior Joining in these activities. The chassis team has begun work on the mounting of the gear boxes.
The goal for week three is to rap up the special ops designs and start ordering parts. We have also designed a pit structure that will hold our banner, have a white board, peg board for hanging tools, and a coat rack and flag holder. This will be made out of 1 inch aluminum tubing.
The season is off to a good start this year for team 2039. The two seniors that graduated last year fortunately have been replaced by seven new students and two new mentors. The team has completed the brainstorming process, selected our primary functional objectives, and now we are “shaking the sieve” to pan out the worthy design options. We will begin to break down into sub-teams and start the design stage shortly. Thank you so much for your support of Rockford Robotics – we hope to impress you this season! Keep your eyes open for another update at the end of week two!
In the 2009 game, LUNACY®, robots are designed to pick up 9″ game balls and score them in trailers hitched to their opponent’s robots for points during a 2 minute and 15 second match. Additional points are awarded for scoring a special game ball, the Super Cell, in the opponents’ trailers during the last 20 seconds of the match. “LUNACY” is played on a low-friction floor, which means teams must contend with the laws of physics.