Week 3 (January 20-26): Some Snags!
Several drive team finalists traveled to Columbia, Maryland over the weekend to test their driving skills on a full-sized field at the USRA STEMaction Center. Aaron Szabo and Yoni Pedersen traveled with the group to evaluate their skills before the final decisions were made.
During the third week, the drive subteam made more progress on the practice drive by cutting all the pieces needed and beginning to CNC holes in them. In addition, they finally received all the parts necessary for the gearboxes to be completed. After their assembly, CAMs (Computer Aided Manufacturing) were created in order to CNC the rest of the frame. Team members continued to work with mechanism groups in order to complete designs and create a finalized CAD.
On the last night of week 2, the test bed was taken out to a mockup field for practice, and the robot drew too much power. This meant that the turning did not work properly. The programming subteam spent the first part of week 3 finding and fixing those issues, while some people worked on the elevator code to get it ready for testing. The second half of the week was spent debugging the elevator code and resistance monitoring for the test bed, which allows programmers to see if the electrical connections start to fail in real time .
At the beginning of the week, the electronics subteam finished up the last field element, the exchange, and tested in what orientations the cube would fall. There was an issue with the drive testbed, which with the help of Eli and Noah, they were able to diagnose as two bad crimps. There was discussion about getting a better multimeter, but it was decided that it would not be suitable for their purposes and that programming could monitor the resistances of the wires instead. Rookies wired sensors to be tested with Robot-In-A-Box, including limit switches, encoders, and IR sensors. The new IR sensors arrive and worked very well, so the team decided to use those on the final robot. Near the end of the week, they began CADing the electronics board after intake decided how much space they would need on the final robot. Originally, they created a compact 3-layer board design which would fit between the gearboxes, but this was scrapped after they found out that a bar was going between them that would interfere with the plans. The next design placed all of the parts on the support of the elevator, but for the purposes of minimizing wire lengths and protecting the parts, they settled with having half of the parts on the back of the support and half on the front. They also finalized that the sensors that will be used on the robot are 2 Grayhill encoders for the drive, 1 SRX Magnetic Encoder for the elevator, 1 Hall Effect sensor for detecting the elevator, and 1 IR sensor for detecting cubes in the intake.
The elevator group focused on adding the last few modifications to the CAD model in preparation for integration into the full robot CAD. Furthermore, the last pieces of the first iteration were made and assembly began. A second iteration was planned for completion in parallel with the assembly and testing of the first iteration. Launchpad CNCed all of their parts and also began assembling their first iteration. Intake chose and machined their first iteration as well, did extensive testing on various cube iterations, and finalized the carriage design.
Public Relations finished transcribing the interviews filmed at Kickoff and submitted and rehearsed the MSBR presentation. For the Chairman’s written component, they finalized the worksheet content and continued revising the essay. They emailed Boeing to inquire about a grant and contacted the Every Girl Can Conference organizers, the Pine Crest Elementary School Science Fair, and Richard Montgomery about the USA Science and Engineering Festival regarding potential outreach opportunities. The Entrepreneurship group edited for wording and semantics to make sure every prompt fit under the character limit. The team also began rewriting and working on the Exelon grant.
Halfway through the week, the final drive team was announced: Nate Klein as driver, Khushboo Rathore as mechanisms, Shiv Luthra as coach, and Brian Liang as human player.