Week 4 (January 27 – February 2): Gaining Momentum
During week 4, the drive subteam finally created the first iteration of the drive. They mounted all different components of the drive frame and greased the gearboxes, and they also began to CNC the parts for the second iteration of the drive frame. After the completion of the first iteration, they had to do some quick repairs, as well as create the mounting for the elevator and launchpads.
The programming subteam again split up into a couple groups. The elevator section finished up the code to run the elevator, completing the last bit of code needed for the robot. Another part of the team added resistance monitoring to the robot, allowing programmers to monitor the health of every wire on the robot in real time. To the best of their knowledge, no other team had done this before. They also put an Nvidia Jetson TK1 on the robot and started using it to go from any point A to any point B on the field, which will give drivers advanced autonomous capabilities that they did not have before.
The electronics subteam spent most of the week drilling holes, mounting, and wiring the electronics board for the practice drive. While for the final they want the polycarbonate to be CNC-ed so there will be little indents for each of the parts, they did them by hand for the practice board. They also tested the different sensors planned for the robot to ensure that they suit the team’s purposes and completely replaced all of the batteries with 4 AWG wire. When the drive frame was complete, they mounted the electronics board and wired it up, though the board is temporarily on 80/20 as the elevator is not complete.
The elevator was almost completely assembled this week by the elevator group of the mechanics subteam. After getting all of the plates CNC’d, they began fixing all the small clearance issues that were present. Afterwards, they hand-machined some of the holes that were not drilled by the CNC because of an oversight in the CAD, as well as the angle brackets that were needed. The CAD for iteration 2 was started and should be completed by the end of week 5. The intake group finalized their design and got all of their pieces CNC’d this week. Assembly of the intake system is mostly done: the carriage is complete and intake has its components assembled. The group still needs to create their mounting plate to interface to the elevator and finish assembling after the constant force springs are assembled. Finally, the launchpad group got all of their pieces CNC’d this week and began assembly. They still need wood and a few pieces to fully assemble the device.
In week 4, the public relations subteam finished filming for the Chairman’s award, transcribing all their interviews, and writing the first draft of the award essay. They continued editing the Entrepreneurship award essay draft and the Exelon grant, and they began compiling fonts and templates to establish uniform brand standards for team documents. Some team members attended the Maryland Space Business Roundtable conference on Wednesday to submit a grant proposal. They also planned for future outreach events on March 1 and 3.