Posted by Deliverator on April 25th, 2006
I am off to Atlanta with the TRC for the International FIRST Robotics Championship. Kevin and Rachel have been working on an active hopper that involves two conveyor belts made of firehose. Kevin and Rachel have been the only two students willing to put their time where their mouth is and actually work on something, but I am not convinced that we should destructively tear apart the robot to install something that has not been tested. It would be very disappointing to not be able to compete at all due to a non-functioning hopper. Our existing hopper limits our ball carrying capacity to 8-10 balls, but at least it works reliably. Ryan and I have a design that would double our ball carrying capacity and would be easy to construct and install in Atlanta. Also, our design more or less straps onto the existing ball feed system, so at worst we could go back to using our original design. I think it is very important to have a fall-back position. Right now, I see us as having four choices:
1: Pull apart the robot and try to make Kevin’s belt system work, without the benifit of adequate tools
2: Construct and attach Ryan and I’s additive feed system
3: Change Nothing
4: Pull off shooting motors, shooting wheel and other superflous parts to lighten the robot and add a big piece of plastic in the hopper so that balls roll smoothly into the front hopper slots.
I am trying to be realistic about our capabilities and our time crunch while in Atlanta. At this point, I think I am actually most in favor of #4. I don’t think number four gets us far in the playoffs, but I think failing to compete at all would be very disappointing to a lot of the newer members. Normally, I am a shoot the moon kinda guy and am in favor of giving those who show up and work hard the room to suceed or fail. We will see what the membership thinks. I am glad it isn’t my decision to make.