As the robotics team works to complete the robot, the end of week 5 became a reality for the team. Laura completed the bumper covers and applied the labels on all of the covers. Nickel worked on the lift and refined the hook. He added a stopper block to the rotation block and added “smush plates” to the lift. Richard added the motors to the gears and started to work on the lifting of the robot.
Ana, Lydia, Lemon, and Nathan C went to Home Depot to get some more machine screws and dremel cut-off wheels (and snacks), to bring to the rest of the team.
As we starting thinking about how “Murphy” was going to climb the platform, we realized we were short motor controllers, so we purchased a few more from VEX. Then we looked at the motors we had and noticed that the plan we had to raise the robot was not going to work, due to lack of space on the bot. We came up with a different plan and decided to go with Linear Actuators. We purchased a couple of them from Progressive Actuators and until they arrive, we will practice driving and fine-tuning what we have.
Still, to do we have to put the bumpers back on the robot, code the new motors controllers, and possibly move some of the components around to make room for the linear actuators.
4:44 – Today is an optional work day for the team. Today is also a short build day. Lemon, Andrea, and Laura are working on the bumpers for the chassis. Andrea is pinning the fabric together do lemon can sew it all together. Laura is ironing decals onto the bumper fabric. Bubs and Phoebe are working on greasing and rebuilding four gear boxes. Johanna worked on the the website as usual. Nickel is changing out the gears and the lift. Nathan was taking pictures of the team working.
4:29 – Today is the first day of week five for our team since the break ended yesterday. There is a lot that we need to get done so we have to increase the amount of time meeting time. Now Thursdays are optional and Fridays are mandatory. This weekend we may open the ILab, but, next weekend the ILab will be open. In other words, people have been working on the robot outside of the mandatory meeting time.
Lemon was able to create red bumper covers for the robot with the help of Andrea and Phoebe. They were able to create a cover so it will be easy for the team to switch from red to blue easily. After Lemon finished sowing the covers, Andrea made and pinned, Laura started ironing our decals onto the red fabric. By tomorrow we will also have blue covers made.
Emani began with creating the letterhead and providing the tax ID number for corporate sponsors. Then she worked on the team’s itinerary and food situation as well as where we will be staying for our first competition. Emani emailed the members of our community as well as made update on our Instagram account for everyone to see the progress that we have made. Currently, she is painting the hook on our robot so we can easily line up the hatch panels.
Eric was able to attach the new motor controllers to the lift with the help of everyone on the team. He worked with Nathan to add more functionality to the code. As well as reinforce the frame for the lift motor. In addition. He was also able to test drive the robot with the lift attached to it. In other words, he tested the hatch panel and attached and detached it from the hatch panel space.
Richard and Bubs worked on lifting the robot onto the platform like previously. They were able to order parts for this task today. As well as planned for spacing and figured out how the new parts are going to fit onto the robot.
Nathan B. and Nickel were able to secure the motor attached to the base of the lift. Now we will be able to turn our lift 180 degrees as well as move the lift up and down.
Phoebe was able to clean to wooden split off of our hatch panel.
Johanna worked on our website like usual but she was also able to do some soldering today. On the website, she uploaded pictures and wrote captions for each picture. In addition, she was able to solder air compressors and air controls. These tools will be used when we lift our robot onto the first platform with pneumatics.
Nickel was able to troubleshoot tension and torque problems with the vertical chain lift. As well as make some improvements.
The team as a whole was able to work on the robot at various times of the day. This includes driving the robot, securing the chains, making improvements, testing the robot, designing for the pneumatics, and fixing whatever needs to be fixed. Overall today was a very successful and it was a busy day. We hope to have a fully functional robot soon.
3:44 – Today will be the last time we meet as a team since we will be going on break. The next time we will be together as a team will be next Wednesday after the break. From then, until it is time to bag the robot, we will be meeting every day that we can to test out the robot. The lift still needs to be perfected and mounted onto the robot. In addition, we are working on finding a way to get our robot onto the six-inch platform. We will most likely use pneumatics to push the front of the robot up on an angle so the front wheels can roll onto the platform. Then, once the front of the robot has boarded the platform, we will deploy a back set of pneumatic so the robot can be horizontal instead of at an angle. This will then allow us to drive our robot onto the platform. In order to limit friction, we will attach a wheel underneath each pneumatic.
Eric reverted the code to a previous version due to compatibility issues. He then spent some time re-adding features that had been removed, and adding new functionality. He also worked with the build team to get the lift motor into working condition.
Johanna is securing the motor on the top of the lift. She did this by creating a bracket out of aluminum. She then attached this bracket onto the gearbox with screws. Now that the motor is secured to the lift, as the shaft in the motor spins and rotates the chain, the motor itself will stay stationary. Nathan was able to give her some guidance through this process.
Nickel was able to create and attach a hook for the lift. He made the hook out of aluminum C channel and then attached the hook onto the chain. He noticed that our chain tensioner is providing too much tension and that our motor does not have enough torque to overcome that tension. In addition to this, we noticed that the motor was not strong enough to lift the hatch panel. Nickel is ordering a new planetary production gear in hopes of resolving this issue.
Bubs and Richard are planning and designing a way for the robot to climb the six inch platform. They are planning on using four pistons that will push down a set of wheels in the back and in the front. They will board the platform backwards due to the amount of weight on the back with the battery and the electronics. The wheels that the pistons push down will be non-powered and will retract when a certain amount of the robot has made it on to the 6 inch habitat zone. The two sets of wheels/ pistons will work independently from each other meaning that the front will activate first and then the front allowing for the robot to get on the platform. The wheels are omni wheels allowing the robot to readjust to the platform if the robot is not centered.
Today the team is working on various parts of the robot. Nathaniel, Gabriel, Nickel, Richard, Lemon, and Nathan are working on stabilizing the lift component of our robot. They also are working on a way for the robot to get onto the habitat platform. We are going to be using pneumatics to get the robot onto the 6-inch habitat zone. The team planned and designed a way for our robot to get up. Johanna and Laura are working on the website and Emani is working on the sponsorship details. Pheobe is soldering and, Nathan B. and Eric are working on programming the robot. Richard also continued to work on CAD today. Today was a short day for us, but we will continue to make progress on our robot.
Today is the second day that we have met this week. Some people come down and work on the robot individually after dinner or during their free time. Most people are focusing their efforts on the robot.
2:45 – Lemon and Nathan we able to attach a light on the edge of the control board. They took some measurements and used a 3in x 1 ¾in piece of plexiglass and mounted it on the top edge of the control board. This light allows the team to know when the robot is on, enabled, and disabled. If the light is on and still, then the room is currently but disabled. If the light is blinking, the robot is enabled and has the potential to move.
Nickel, Nathaniel, and Gaberial we able to make a lot of progress on the lift. Nickel was able to create the main frame. The lift is comprised of two wooden side supports and two aluminum shaft on a rotating base. The shafts run through the sides of the wooden frames with sprockets in the middle of each shaft to allow for rotation. This will allow for the life to have mobility. In addition, they have attached a large sprocket underneath the base of the life. This component will enable us to turn the lift 360° and grab any hatch panels within the area around our robot. Currently, they are trying to attach a motor to the lift for mobility purposes.
Eric and Coco were able to add some new additions to the code to make it more compatible with the lift. They were able to test the new code and they noticed that there are some improvements that could be made. They will not be able to test the new code until the lift is remounted to the robot.
Richard is currently conducting research on CAD. He is to construct a chain and sprocket.
Johanna is working on the “Meet The Team” portion of our website. There are a few formatting issues that need to get resolved. Nathan is trying to help her resolve these issues but these problems do not have a simple fix.
Ana is soldering on a connector for the motor that will be attached to the lift. She is also reinforcing the wires with heat shrink. In addition, she was able to attach the base of the lift to the robot.
Nickel is attempting to figure out how to put the chain on the lift. The chain is not the right size for the lift so he is trying to connect more links to the chain.
Since today is Wednesday, Winston was able to come in and help the team. Right now he is trying to attach a motor to the robot. This motor will be able to move our claw into the proper boundary before the game starts.
1:30 – Today is the first day this week we are meeting as a team and we will not be here next Monday because of February Break (2/2/19 – 2/5/19). The week after we will increase our meeting time to Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Currently, Lydia and Emani are working with Nathan to figure out what a sponsorship plan will look like. Since this is a big task Johanna and Nathaniel are going to lend a helping hand whenever needed. Eric, Gaberial, and Coco are currently working on the chassis. They have taken the control board off the chassis because it was malfunctioning. There was a loose power connection and the control board needed to be removed in order to fix this problem. Once this problem was resolved, they noticed some improvements that could be made and are working on that now. More specifically, they are replacing wooden components with 80 20 aluminum and increasing assessability for future repairs. Johanna and Laura are currently working on our website. Our old website crash and was unrecoverable so a new one needed to take its place. Since we have to recreate our website, they have to transfer the information that was on our previous website to our current one. Until this is accomplished they will not be able to move forward and upload new content. Like usual, Richard is working with CAD. As the team works on the chassis he has been creating new files and updating our virtual chassis. In other words, after the chassis was modified and the 80 20 aluminum was added, Richard incorperated this modification into CAD. As they continue to work on the physical chassis, Richard will work on the virtual chassis. Nathaniel and Nickel are trying to assemble the mount for the rotating chain life. They are currently working with wood for the base and an aluminum shaft as well as a variety of other components that have not been assembled yet. This includes a sprocket, plastic spacer, lock screws, bearings, and nuts. Nathan B. is working on the camera. He wants to be able to process the camera feed on a computer instead of on the robot. He has noticed that there are delays and the quality of the footage is poor. In addition, to working on the camera he is also helping with the chassis and control board modifications. Ana is has been working on our business cards. Our business cards are have been engraved with the laser cutter on wood. It includes our team name, logo, team number, year, website, e-mail, and school address.
2:41 – Richard is going to teach Coco and Nathan B. how to use CAD so more people are familiar with the program. Johanna is entering the daily updates onto the website. Emani and Lydia have made a lot of progress on the sponsorship packets we will be handing out to potential sponsors. This includes the different levels of sponsors we have as well as what we will give back in return. The different levels are Gold ($501+), Silver ($251 – 500), Bronze ($100 – 250) and donations. Each donor has access to different rewards depending on their placement level. All donors will be featured on our website, Polo T-shirt and will be offered community service.
Today was the first day we met this week. This is because sports was canceled due to MLK Day. Although we wanted to get into the lab and start working, our space was occupied by a demo class. So, for the first hour, we were in a classroom soldering the battery terminals, motors, and motor control. Our chassis has not grown and is in the same condition as before, however, the control board has been removed from the chassis. This is because we are trying to connect the camera to the control board. Once this is finished, it will be reattached to the chassis. Currently, Eric is working on this project. He is not sure how he will do this, but he will figure it out. Currently, Coco and Nathan B. are attaching the connecting wires to the battery for the robot so we can easily attach the battery to our robot if needed. Johanna and Ana are now stripping the wires connected to the motors so they can solder on a quick disconnect. This will allow us to easily change out the batteries and allow us to change the motors quickly. Richard and Nickel are currently designing the robot on the whiteboard. At this moment they are trying to figure out how tall the robot should be with some potential measurements which will be finalized by the end of Robotics. Laura is interviewing each member of the Robotics team so that she can update the website. She is asking each member why they decided to join the team and one fun fact about themselves. The members are making her job difficult by literally running away from her questions. Winston, WMS alumni, is assisting the team in the best way he can. He is currently working with the band saw. He is going to put a new band on the bandsaw so we can cut aluminum.
3:00 – Ana and Johanna noticed that they did something incorrectly as they were soldering. So they had to take off the heat shrink and re-strip the wires so that they could reattach them properly. The webcam connected to the robot is now up and running.
3:18 – Eric and Nathan were able to get the webcam working. They were able to complete the code and are currently revising it so it is better. Right now, Eric is and Coco is reattaching the control board to the chassis.
Before 5:00 – Winston and Lemon worked on redesigning the control board. Originally the control board was spread out on a wooden board and it covered the entire base of the chassis. Now the control board has been mounted vertically on two pieces of acrylic. They were able to conserve the amount of space the control board takes up which in turn give us space to create our lifts.
Today, we are working on fixing the chassis. We have to take the chassis apart because the wheels are not turning. There was no obvious problem when taken apart. We connected the motor and the gearbox to the battery to try and figure out the problem. We think the problem was that the shaft was spinning but the gears were not. We think this was due to a set screw somewhere that is not tight. Nickel was fixing the problem and found that the set screw wasn’t the problem. We now think that the problem was that the retaining clip was bent so it was not gripping the shaft. Nickel tried hitting the clip on more. We tested it again and it still didn’t work. Things weren’t going well. We hammered one of the tabs on the next clip into the gear and we tested again and found that the tab broke. Things were getting worse. We eventually figured out the true problem. We had forgotten to put the key in when assembling the motor. We took it apart, but we had to break the retaining clips to fix the problem, but some of them ended up still working after Ana learned how to better remove the clips. Two of the motors were fully repaired and put back in the gearbox and back on the chassis. We needed one more retaining clip to repair the last motor, so we can fully put the chassis back together. We spent the rest of our meeting cleaning and organizing our workspace.
Today, Eric programmed the chassis so that it can be controlled by a joystick instead of by a computer. The chassis currently has four blue bumpers on each corner. Johanna and Andrea are working together to reinforce each of these. The only thing on the top of the chassis is the main electronics board. Richard is currently learning and working with CAD. Nathaniel is looking to buy more parts for the chain life and the two bar life. Right now, he is looking at different types of gearboxes. He has also added two Mini CIM Motors which will be used for the middle tier of the lift. He also has two CIM Motors, which are the same motors that are on the chassis. They are looking to use them for the bottom of the two bar lift where most movement and strain on the robot will be. There are also two BAG Motors which will most likely be used on the chain lift. Laura is taking headshots of each robotics member in order to update our website. Simultaneously, Coltrain and Eric are working on the code and were successful in transferring it to another computer. Now, we will have the program available on multiple computers.