The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Crunch Time

Posted by Deliverator on February 16th, 2006

Crunch Time

It is most definitely crunch time in robot-ville. TRC members met again today at Larry’s to work on the build. Two people from Bellevue’s team were there as well, working on their robot, with Larry splitting his sanity between the two teams. Bellevue’s robot is really taking shape and I finally understand how it is intended to work. It is an interesting design, to be sure, but they can only pick up balls off the floor after their initial pre-load. I think this is going to really work against them, as human loading is definitely quicker. A significant ammount of the weight of their robot is up high, which may make getting up the ramps difficult.

We spent most of our time crimping & soldering new wiring for two additional motors, adding a motor speed controller to the back of our control board (we used up all available space on the front, and coming up with a motor mount for our “flapper.” The flapper is simply a flat rectangle of metal attached to a shaft, which we can rotate to direct balls into the shutes leading to our two ball handling mechanisms. The flap covers one shute entrance or another, forcing incoming balls to go into the desired mechanism. Larry worked on a gating mechanism for the shooter, before we arrived, so thankfully we didn’t need to do much on that, although I ended up replacing the wiring going to the motor due to a misinterpration of the rules on my part (I thought they needed to be red and black wiring, but that is only required for higher amperage motors). Dave lead a group in the construction of the flapper while a couple of the kids and I worked on the wiring. It was nice to have many projects going on in parallel for a change. Often times we end up doing things in a very linear process and end up having to take turns with the hands-on stuff in order to keep everyone feeling involved.

We are meeting again tomorrow to finish the hopper and hopefully add code for the two new motor systems. After that, we will take the (hopefully, substantially finished) robot to school for the drive team to work on autonomous programming. There is going to be a lot of commotion at school tomorrow, as teams help set up for the pre-ship event on Saturday. The pre-ship event is an informal, unofficial competition (dress rehersal) between Seattle area FIRST teams. If you aren’t going to drive down to Portland for the regional competition, this is your best bet to see some robots in action! The event is free and open to the general public and will be held in the lower gym at the International School between 10am and 3 pm this Saturday.

Pictures of the last two build meetings can be found here and here